Set to become another tourist attraction site with its anticipated vast man-made lake around the flagship project, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has so far drawn over 250,000 visitors, The Ethiopian Herald learnt.
Designed to be Africa's largest dam, besides its huge power generation capacity, GERD is expected to contribute immensely to the country's tourism industry.
Last year, over 30,000 people have paid visit to the project site with same numbers expected to make the visit this year, says Hailu Abraham, Media and Communication Director at the Office of the National Council for Coordination of Public Participation on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
The visit is already building the trust on the people that primarily owns the project and it would also encourage all the workers engaged in the the project. It also ensures transparency among the Ethiopian people, says Hailu. Many more people from different parts of the country are curious to see the progress of the project. " People do feel excited when they set their foot in the site wondering that their contribution is paying off," he notes.
According to Hailu, whereas the project is able to lure many visitors prior to its finalization, it would see the number rising upon completion. The man-made lake that would be formed due to the reservoir in addition to the state-of-the art-construction, GERD would be an add up to the country's tourism potential.
The towns along the way to the project site are benefiting from such flow of local visitors already. Particularly, hotels have seen huge profits with new ones entering the hotel business. Big hotels have been constructed in Asosa town, capital of Benshangul Gumuz state, where the project site is located, she adds.