Ethiopia: Developing Tourism Destinations, Advance Sustainable Development

Ethiopia is endowed with the richest biodiversity, unique landscape, classy forests, snow-capped peaks and arid deserts. The varied flora embraces the world's most extensive tracts, along with a varied mix of forest, savannah, desert and cultivation.

As a country with such wide-ranging habitats, Ethiopia is home to many species that cannot be found anywhere else on earth, whose status highlights the need for a better attraction.

The country can count on its natural, cultural and historical tourist attractions, including many UNESCO-registered heritages they have been driving an influx of tourists from far and wide. As the land where mankind, coffee, and the Blue Nile trace their roots, Ethiopia has always been an attractive destination for tourists.

Currently, with the aim to advance its tourist attraction sites, as well as to develop urban tourism, the country is working diligently by devising a series of initiatives to promote the areas thereby sustain employment and economic growth of the area.

The renovation of Entoto, Unity Parks and Addis Ababa Riverside Project is the best indicator in this regard.

The initiative of renovating and developing the apart from promoting the attraction sites and increasing tourist inflows, it can create jobs for many citizens and sustain economic growth. What is more, a scheme such as the Addis Ababa Riverside Project, changes the narratives of Addis Ababa, positions the capital as an urban tourism site plus transforms the lives of its dwellers

As it is said, the project breathes new life into the city beyond question and showers everyone. The initiatives have demonstrated innovation; purposeful planning and execution in a short timeframe, and most importantly are symbolic representations of Ethiopian.

Singing the same tune, the other project, Unity Park, located within the premises of the National Palace and beautified with a spacious green area, including a botanical garden, a zoo where primates and endemic black-mane lions will roam among 300 individual animals of 46 species, also creates additional beauty to the city.

According to the Prime Minister Office, the parks have greater significance in terms of facilitating service economies and changing the look and feel of the capital, of Addis Ababa. "It takes a daring few to reach a tipping point in achieving a desired positive result.

Recently, the Office of the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed with its newest development project, ('Dine for Ethiopia') has launched plan to develop three destinations with the aim to develop the already endowed tourist attractions of the sites, make them places of interest where visitors aspire to visit; and in so doing create sustainable job opportunities and gain the expected economic benefit for the surrounding communities.

The destinations are proposed based on their natural attractions, historical values and economic benefits for both local communities and visitors. Needless to say that historical places, old monasteries and churches have a great deal of untold accounts; and developing such sites can explain a lot.

Gorgora, is one of the three sites that is projected to develop in the coming years. The site has a remarkable historic port town on the shores of Lake Tana that bridging Gojam and Gonder. The site is also a fishing town and transit route for consumer goods. It is a hidden naturally paradise. The water is clean and deep. Former naval forces used train there. Its historic relevance and lakeshore scenic beauty is a tourism magnet that can be maximized, thereby creating more jobs and developing the hospitality sector.

Koyesha is the other destination. It is uniquely situated in the green hills, rolling plains and lush forests of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' State.

With the Koysha Hydropower plant in progress and the Chebera Churchura National Park in the near proximity, the new integrated eco project in Koyesha aims to enhance existing endowments, create a hospitable service industry and jobs in the area.

Wenchi Crater Lake, the third spot, is a piece of paradise. This beautiful volcanic crater and lake is situated in Oromia State, South West Showa Zone, 155 km west of Addis Ababa, between Ambo and Woliso towns. At 3,450 meters above sea level, the Lake is also the highest volcano in Ethiopia.

With a dream of volcanoes, hot springs and waterfalls that accentuate the abundant natural endowments, the area is graced with unseen attractions. Besides, the eminent places have significant ecological, recreational, and aesthetical values for both local communities and visitors. Wenchi's capacity to draw more tourism, create sustainable jobs and descent wage for local communities residing around the area. An old monastery with a church that is positioned on one of the lake islands also make the spot more enticing and mesmerizing.

Truly, the site is enriched with a number of attractions. However, to attract large segment of visitors across the globe, and to be able to generate considerable returns, the destination needs to be developed in a manner it can offer attractions and quality services.

To this end, the accomplishment of the project is vital- to pump up the number of visitors to the site, extend their length of stay, prolong their spending per day, as well as let others know about their experiences and to ensure that they come back again.

In fact, developing such attractions cannot execute by funds allocated by the government alone. Rather they demand everyone's active participation. Thus, we all are expected to stamp our fingerprint in every possible way to crystalize the idea into reality.

More From: Ethiopian Herald

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