By Sintayehu Tamirat
South Nations Nationalities and Peoples State Culture and Tourism Bureau said over 184,000 tourists visited the state in the first half of this fiscal year, the number doubling itself compared to last year.
Bureau Deputy Head Lemma Messele told The Ethiopian Herald that though there was a plan to generate 165 million Birr revenue from the sector , over 300 million Birr has been collected in the stated period.
Lemma said over 430, 000 local tourists visited the state in the reported period.
In addition to generating foreign currency , tourism is benefiting a number of citizens engaged in selling artifacts and gift articles at three popular tourist destinations in the state , he added.
The deputy head attributed the tourist surge to the state to the diverse, unique, and enchanting culture as well as being a home to over 56 nations ,nationalities and peoples.
He added that besides numerous fascinating tourist destinations including UNESCO registered ones , standard hotels, lodges and resorts are expanding in the state .
The bureau is exerting effort to expand tourist facilities in areas where there is no access for tourists, he said adding, the bureau has already built a well-furnished guesthouse in Dawiro Zone near the Chebera Churchura Park.
According to him, his bureau in collaboration with other actors in the sector are training to tour guides and hotel waiters with a view to increasing tourist satisfaction and stay in the state.