Tourism Ethiopia announced a new strategy intending to greatly increase the number of tourists visiting Ethiopia. The new strategy has been developed hand in hand with the World Bank.
Fitsum Kassahun, Communications Director at Tourism Ethiopia, said, “We have developed a new strategy with the World Bank. It advocates international passengers that use Ethiopian airline to transit to several countries visit Ethiopia during their transit here.”
Over 10 million international passengers flying Ethiopian transit to other countries through Ethiopia, and most of them stay two to three days in the country waiting for their scheduled flight to happen.
"If we make transportation, hotels, tour and travel agents and other facilities easily available to the passengers; there is high potential to increase tourist inflow especially to the capital city,” Mr. Fitsum says. This same strategy will also be used to increase conference tourism and help international communities visit Ethiopia during their stay for various conferences.
The communications director highlighted there are several reasons that can see the number of tourists rise in Ethiopia. “The recently inaugurated Unity Park [at the national palace] and the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the prime minister are among the reasons that are helping to promote the country at the world stage,” Mr. Fitsum mentioned, adding, “The inscription of ‘Timket’ festival (Ethiopian epiphany) by UNESCO as intangible heritage is also believed to increase the tourist inflow by promoting the country.”
Pointing out that the last two years were promising for the tourism sector, he said the efforts will be further improved to sustain the best results.
Yakob Melaku, President of Ethiopian Tourist Operators Association, said the current tourist inflow to Ethiopia has risen compared to the previous years.
“Compared with previous years, we can say that the tourist inflow last year was very promising because recently the country is promoting tourism in different international stages. The relative peace observed recently in the country is the other factor that increased the confidence of tourists to visit Ethiopia,” he added.
Yakob noted that the tourist association is receiving a large number of requests especially for the upcoming Ethiopian Christmas and Timket holidays, which is expected to double the tourist flow.