Ethiopia generates $252 million revenue from tourism in first 6 months

Trekking in the Simien Mountains (Photo: theultimatetravelcompany.co.uk)

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – The tourist flow has been significantly increasing especially over the last three years where the first six month of the current fiscal year has witnessed a major increase both in income and in the number of tourists visiting the country, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The income from tourism has increased by 111 percent to hit over USD 252 million during the first half year.

The tourist flow has picked up by 44 percent with 321,000 tourists visiting the country during the six months.

The average number of days tourists stay here has increased to six days from four.

Apart from the recent accident in Afar [that hurt Ethiopia’s image], the fact that there is more peace and security here compared to other tourist destinations has contributed a lot to the major increase in tourist flow, according to Sisay Teklu, coordinator of Tourism Services Competence Accreditation Directorate with Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

There are also increasing promotional activities and efforts that promote Ethiopia as a major tourist attraction in major tourist producing destinations such as London, Italy and even Russia,” Sisay said. “In addition to that, new tourist producing destinations such as India and China are emerging showing more interest to come to Ethiopia. For instance, the Culture and Tourism minister of state had last week been in India to foster relationship and bilateral agreement in the tourism sector while the president of Indian tour operators association is here for the same purpose.”

The recent conflict and the instability that followed in major tourist destinations, including Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, has also increased the tourist flow to Ethiopia, according to Sisay.

“The instability in those countries has more significantly helped to boost tourist flow to other East Africa countries like Kenya and South Africa, which have better tourist facilities than us,” the expert said. “All the same, the tourist flow has increased here as well while conference tourism is growing.”

In line with the increasing tourist flow in the country, MoCT has recently issued a guideline that tour operators, tourists and tourist destination communities should follow. The guideline indicates that tour operators, tourists and tourist destination communities must protect the country’s cultural heritages while tour operators and other service providers to tourists must publish the guideline and implement it accordingly.

Tourists visiting the country should inform themselves about the new guideline from the respective Ethiopian embassies or consulates and from tour operators.

Source: The reporter

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