Tourism Ethiopia has introduced a new strategy that boosts the number of tourists visiting the country.
Tourism Ethiopia Communication Director, Fitsum Kassahun told ENA that the new strategy developed jointly with the World Bank is aimed to increase tourist flow by advocating international passengers using Ethiopian airlines to visit the country.
He said “we have developed a new strategy with the World Bank. The strategy advocates international passengers that use the airline to transit to several countries visit Ethiopia during their transit here.”
More than ten million international passengers transit to other countries through Ethiopia using Ethiopian Airlines, and most of them stay two to three days in Ethiopia until their actual flight date.
According to Fitsum, “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.”
The strategy will also be used to increase conference tourism and help international communities to visit Ethiopia during their stay because of different conferences.
The communication director further explained that the tourism sector is expected to bolster the number of tourists eying Ethiopia due to several reasons.
“The recently inaugurated Unity Park is attracting tourists and the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the PM are among the reasons that are helping to promote the country at the world stage. The inscription of “Timket” festival (Ethiopian epiphany) by UNESCO as intangible heritage is also believed to increase the tourist inflow by promoting the country,” according to Fitsum.
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.
Ethiopian Tourist Operators Association President, Yakob Melaku said the current tourist inflow to Ethiopia has increased when 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 revealed that the tourist association is receiving huge number of requests especially for the upcoming Ethiopian Christmas and Timket holidays, and this is expected to double the tourist flow.