Ethiopia eyes enhanced tourist inflow to the country

Ethiopia is striving to boost the capacity of its hospitality industry and welcome more foreign tourist, said an official from the tourism ministry.

“My ministry has been working with public and private stakeholders to boost the country’s hospitality industry capacity and diversify the nationality of foreign tourists visiting the African country,” said Gezahegn Abate, Public and International Relations Director of the Ethiopia Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MoCIT).

Around 934,000 tourists visited the country during the fiscal year 2018, that ended on July 7, with total earnings of USD 3.5 billion.

As per the minister, their efforts to attract more tourists from the world’s most populous nation, China has been showing a steady increase in the past several years, despite the unrest, the country went through since 2016.

“MoCT is encouraging Chinese investment in Ethiopia’s hospitality sector with a view to have substantial increase in the number of Chinese tourists,” said Abate.

With a view to making tourism a main revenue earner, Ethiopia is providing incentives for entrepreneurs involved in the tourism and hospitality industry, including duty free arrangements for construction materials.

Chinese tourists are the third largest group of tourists to Ethiopia, behind the United States and UK.

The national flight, Ethiopian airlines already flies to five destinations in China: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chengdu and Guangzhou and plans to start flights to Shenzhen later this year.

The government hopes all these measures would contribute to the sustainable growth in the inbound tourists form all the prospective countries.