Hawassa, Ethiopia (ENA) – Over 100 million birr revenue was secured from tourists, who visited tourist sites in SNNP State during the first nine months of this Ethiopian budget year, the State culture and tourism bureau said.

The bureau told ENA that the amount obtained during the reported period exceeds by 34 million birr that of last year’ same period .

It said the stated sum was secured from over 564,000 tourists, of those 131,000 are foreigners.

The number of foreign tourists who visited the heritages in the state has increased by more than 58,000 compared to the previous year same period, it said.

The bureau attributed the success to the rigorous promotion activities undertaken locally and abroad in a bid to promote various natural, historical and cultural heritages of the State.

It said awareness raising education being provided to the local community on ways of protecting and preserving heritages also contributed to the success.

According to the bureau, committees have been established in all areas of the State for protection of natural, historical and cultural heritages.

The Omo, Mago and Netchsar National Parks are found in SNNP State.

The Omo National Park is the largest in the country, with an area of 4,068 square kilometers.

It is a vast expanse of true wilderness, adjacent to_the Omo River, which flows southwards into Lake Turkana and is one of the richest and least-visited_wildlife sanctuaries in eastern Africa.

Eland, Oryx, Burchell’s zebra, Lelwel hartebeest, buffalo, giraffe, elephant, waterbuck, kudu, lion, leopard and cheetah roam within the park’s boundaries.

The Omo Valley is_virtually free of human habitation but is rich in palaeo-anthro-pological_remains.

According to scientific research conducted in 1982 by the University of California at Berkeley, hominid remains from the Omo Valley probably date back more than four million years.

Much of Africa’s volcanic activity is concentrated along the immense 5,000-kilometre crack in the earth’s surface known as the Rift Valley.

It is the result of two roughly parallel faults, between which, in distant geological time, the crust was weakened and the land subsided.

The valley walls – daunting blue-grey ridges of_volcanic basalt and granite – rise sheer on either side to towering heights of 4,000 meters.

The valley floor, 50 kilometers or more across, encompasses some of the world’s last true wildernesses.

Three of the nine Ethiopian World Heritage sites, the lower valley of the Omo, the Tiya carved stelae and the Konso cultural landscape are found in this State

The Simien National Park, Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela, Fasil Ghebbi of Gondar, Axum Obelisks, Lower Valley of the Awash and Harar Jugol Wall are among the nine sites registered by UNESCO.

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