Ethiopia records largest growth in travel & tourism globally at 48.6% in 2018

Ethiopia’s travel and tourism economy grew by 48.6 per cent in 2018, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) annual review of the economic impact and social importance of the sector.

In 2018, travel and tourism contributed BIRR 202 billion USD 7.4 billion to the country’s economy, an increase of BIRR 59 billion(USD 2.2bn) on 2017. The sector now represents 9.4 per cent of Ethiopia’s total economy.

The WTTC research which compares the Travel & Tourism sector across 185 countries shows that in 2018 the Ethiopian travel and tourism sector significantly outpaced the global growth rate of 3.9 per cent. The African growth rate of 5.6 per cent supported 2.2 million jobs, or 8.3 per cent of total employment. This was primarily driven by leisure travellers: 79 per cent of the travel and tourism spending was generated by leisure visitors and 21 per cent from business travellers strongly weighted towards international travel: 77 per cent of the travel and tourism spending came from international travellers and 23 per cent from domestic travel.

“Ethiopia’s travel & tourism boom was one of the great success stories of 2018. It has exceeded our sector’s global and regional comparisons to record the highest level of growth of any country in 2018. This has been driven by the very strong performance of aviation in the country and the development of Addis Ababa as a dynamic and growing regional hub,” said Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC.

“Travel and tourism in Ethiopia now accounts for one in every 11 dollars in the entire economy and one in 12 of all jobs. I would like to acknowledge the work of the Ethiopian Government, under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and the country’s commitment to the power of travel and tourism to drive economic growth, job creation and social enhancement,” Guevara added.