Ethiopia: Synergy to Transform Tourism Sector

Ethiopia: Synergy to Transform Tourism Sector

editorial

The tourism industry is one of the sectors emerging to be a potential revenue maker in the country. As the country endowed with the myriad of tourist attractions, smart promotion need to be employed to market the blessings and generate considerable revenue. Thanks to the attention attached to the sector, the tourism industry is seemingly awakening. In fact, following the unrest in some parts of the country, tourist inflow was slightly decreased in this year first quarter compared with the previous year’s same period.

To stimulate the sector’s growth, various measures have been taken including issues related to visa and customs, preserving and developing tourist sites throughout the country thereby increasing revenue earnings from the sector.

During this year’s first quarter, Ethiopia had earned around 872 million USD from foreign visitors. Data show the tourist inflow has been increasing over the past six months registering more than 300,000 tourists visiting the country. This in fact is a testimony for the country peace and stability has bee reigned. Several international and regional conferences which attracted many delegate across the world were held during the state of emergency.

The annual summit of the 28th African Union Heads of States Conference was also one of the grand meetings held recently here in the Capital is a case in point for hosting foreign crowed.

Recognizing the impact of the decree, hoteliers and tour and travel agencies, missions abroad are still working to attract more tourists to give impetus to the sensitized sector.

The increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as well as the restoration of sustainable peace and stability were attributed to current tourist influx. More importantly, the role and contribution of actors to transform the sector must be intensified.

Through relentless promotion and development,currently the tourism industry is growing from time to time compared with its initial stages of development. Changes in governance systems have facilitated enabling environment for the sprouting of tourism in the country.

Indeed, Ethiopia’s tourism has been more focused on the socio-cultural and historical aspects of the country’s development. The nature-focused tourism has attracted more foreign tourists though its outstanding biodiversity and agro-ecological zones could surpass nation’s tourism potential.

Fortunately, the high level of development, coupled with marketing and promotion services of tourism, has resulted in the influx of foreigners to Ethiopia. The tourist corridors could be easily developed into a vibrant and sustainable tourist destinations for both domestic and foreign visitors. The wide-ranging natural resources and most developed infrastructure and services along the corridors are of paramount significance.

Apart from contributing for national development and transformation plan, the tourism sector could play a crucial role in creating jobs, attracting foreign investment, connecting other sectors with value chaining ones. It could also tap the opportunity creating more enabling environment for expanding infrastructures such as road, air transportation and communication facilities. The burgeoning of the sector is instrumental in poverty reduction and economic growth.

Moreover, Ethiopia’s rich and diversified cultural heritages and natural resources further serve spring boards for the advancement of the sector. Until now, the sector has been growing at an annual average rate of about 10 percent over the past decade as Ethiopia has been attracting increasing amount of FDI. It is estimated that tourism is contributing about 4.5 percent to the GDP, or close to three billion USD benefiting about 1.5 million people to improve their living standards.

With the concerted efforts of all stakeholders, a large number of tourists are expected to visit Ethiopia until the end of this year. Certainly, the plan would not be affected as the industry need to improve the quality of services, churn out and employ skilled management, provide adequate promotion of attractions and allocate rich finance to preserve historical, man-made and natural attractions.

As the sector engage many actors, problems need collective actions from the government and other pertinent stakeholders to transform the tourism sector.