Addis Ababa – Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn urged the Ethiopian Tourism Transformation Council (ETTC) to utilize resources of the country and make the nation one of the best tourist destinations in the world.
Speaking at the official launching of the Ethiopian tourism brand dubbed “Land of Origins” today, the premier called on ETTC to work with the private sector and develop the tourism potential of the nation.
According to him, encouraging results have been attained after the government started implementing its Tourism Policy and Strategy.
He, however, stressed that the tourism project should be developed to make the sector competitive in the global market. Attention need to therefore be given to national parks, historical sites, diverse cultural heritages and other tourism potentials, the PM added.
Chief Executive Director of Ethiopian Tourism Organization, Solomon Tadesse on his part said his organization targeted tourism marketing development, capacity building, development of new and old tourist destinations as well as cooperation and integration with stakeholders during the First Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP I).
“We have been striving to realize our vision of maximizing tourism revenues and to make Ethiopia one of the top five tourist destinations in Africa by 2025. This requires achieving ambitious market growth targets which include an increase in tourism arrivals at an average annual rate of 20% per annum to 5 million tourists, and increasing also receipts per visitor at an average annual rate of 1.6% to USD1,100 and increasing total tourism receipts at an average annual rate of 20% per annum to USD 12.5 billion,” Solomon elaborated.
The Chief Executive Officer indicated lack of infrastructure, capable human resource, accessibility, accommodations and hotels among the challenges the tourism sector faced in GTP I.
Responding to these and the other problems raised by the participants at the meeting, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn said the government, the private sector and other stakeholders should exert the maximum effort to solve the problems in the Second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II).