Tourism Ethiopia has announced a "National Tourism Investment Profile", an outline listing fifty prospective investment sties in Ethiopia. The profile is aimed at boosting Ethiopia's tourism sector in the upcoming decade.
Sileshi Girma, Director of Tourism Ethiopia, said 30 investment alternatives have been identified in the 50 places, to be made available for both domestic and foreign investors. He also pointed out Tourism Ethiopia is working with private institutions as intermediaries to attract foreign investors.
Highlighting the Ethiopian government's due attention to investment in tourism, Mr. Sileshi said seven places have been identified, to which five years of "tax-free and special tourism investment incenetives" have been attached. Bale Mountains, Semen Mountains, Nech Sar parks are where the seven places are located. The director, while noting that these entertain lots of visitors, "they lack [sufficient] accommodations and hotel services."
Despite an improvement in the involvement of the private sector in tourism and hospitality, Mr. Sileshi noted there are still challenges in terms of access to loans from banks for investment in tourism. He also mentioned the distance of most major tourist destinations from the capital Addis Ababa as an additional hurdle. The government's incentive is aimed to address these challenges, as the tourism industry is specifically important in creating employment and generating foreign currency.
Tourism Ethiopia has signed an agreement with Oz Hospitality and Business Group with the aim of supporting the tourism sector, Mr. Sileshi pointed out. This agreement will help provide relevant and accurate information about Ethiopia's tourism industry to international organizations, according to the director, as well as help Ethiopia secure several hostings for annual festivals and various events.
Kumneger Teketel, Oz Hospitality and Business Group Head, for his part, said they are "ready to effectively discharge our part in a bid to increase revenue from the sector by promoting cities, destinations, and unseen tourist attractions.”
Source: The Ethiopian Herald