Ecotourism dev’t key for economic growth: Ethiopian scholar

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (WIC) – An Ethiopian scholar and researcher at the Addis Ababa University (AAU) underscored the need to give due attention for ecotourism development in Ethiopia.

In an exclusive interview with WIC today, Dr Mulugeta Fisseha, Associate Professor in the Department of Earth Science at AAU, said Ethiopia needs to focus on ecotourism to benefit more from the sector.

“Ecotourism should be given due focus mainly because it is untapped sector and an environmental friendly tourism development,” said Dr Mulugeta.

Tourism development in Ethiopia is encouraging, he said, adding “to enhance its economic significance, the government must do a lot so as to efficiently exploit the sectors.

In order to make the sector one of the economic pillars, the main tourist destinations must be developed and promotional works need to be done, he said.

Despite its geographical and environmental gifts and tourism potential, the country is not benefiting more from the sector as compared to other African countries, such as Kenya and Egypt, he indicated. Stakeholders, therefore, need to do their part for the development of tourism sector in Ethiopia, he noted.

Dr Mulugeta has recently launched a book mainly focused on elucidating the steps in community-based ecotourism development and promoting sustainable tourism development.

The book entitled:” The Fundamentals of Community Based Ecotourism Development in Ethiopia,” also underlines the conviction that community awareness and empowerment in community-based ecotourism are vital for enabling communities to protect their cultures and traditions from being eroded.