Addis Ababa – Ethiopia is going to label its 22,000 tour guides with aiming to improve skill of practitioners so as to enhance tourism development.

Project 2020The nation has planned to label the tourist guides starting from this month and throughout February 2015, Catering and Tourism Training Institute Deputy Director Dawit Hailu told ENA.

Ethiopia has been engaged in various activities spearhead the development of the sector including establishing a national tourism council led by the Prime Minister and formulation of a tourism master plan, supported by IGAD.

Multidimensional activities are underway to realize the vision of the nation aspiring to be among top five tourist destinations in Africa by 2020.

As tourist flow is increasing every year by over 10 percent and length of stay of tourists is extended to two weeks, tourist guides should be well equipped with the history, culture and heritages of the nation so as to provide full and complete image to tourists, he added.

Activities are underway at the federal and regional level to assess the level, capacity and skill of practitioners so as to decide what interventions are needed to support the sector in this regard, Dawit explained.

“Knowledge based tour guides are highly needed to spread the factual historic, cultural and religious background of the country to the rest of the world”, he said.

Tourist flow has been increasing by 10 to 12 percent every year. Last year 724,000 tourists, most of them are from the Americas, UK, Germany, Kenya, China, India, Italy and Saudi Arabia visited Ethiopia, earned 2 billion USD.

The nation is envisaged to be visited by 1million tourists and expected to generate 3 billion USD this fiscal year.

According to Gezahegn Abate PR Head at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, this is an outcome of achievements the nation has registered in various areas.

The economic performance, peace and stability as well as better promotion of tourist heritages contribute for the development, he added.

In spite of the civil war and terrorist activities existed in the East African region, Ethiopia preserves its peace and security and striving to bring peace to the area.

Activities aimed at increasing tourist flow as well as increase length of stay of tourists are among the activities being exerted in the country, which is home to nine inscribed world heritages.

Producing skilled practitioners, improving infrastructures such as accommodation and transportation, as well as preserving and promoting the heritages are being underway as part of the efforts to enhance the development of the sector.

Source: ENA

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