Participation in international tourism-and-trade fairs boosts arrivals
Ethiopia continued to record positive growth in tourist arrivals over the review period. The country achieved larger tourist numbers in 2012 than in 2011 thanks to increased participation in international travel and tourism exhibitions. Showcasing the nation’s tourism products globally has enabled Ethiopia to promote its natural, cultural and historical attractions to the rest of the world. This has helped the country to attract more international tourists and also generated more travel and tourism revenue. Some of the notable international tourism and trade fairs Ethiopia has participated in recent years include the ITB, Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin, the World Travel Market in London, the Moscow International Tourism Fair and the Shanghai 2010 Expo.
Government embarks on measures to preserve tourist sites
Ethiopia has rich tourism assets. With its diverse tourist attractions, which include cultural, historical and archaeological attractions, as well as a great variety of flora and fauna, the government of Ethiopia has initiated a number of measures to preserve and develop tourist sites throughout the country. Tourist infrastructures in various national parks have been upgraded, while renovation work on roads linking the parks with major roads and lodges is being carried out. Other measures include the protection of animals from illegal hunting in sanctuaries and parks, as well as the conservation of heritage sites, nine of which are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Through these activities, Ethiopia has seen an increase in the number of tourists visiting its many attractions.
Ethiopian Airlines a major driving force for travel and tourism growth
Ethiopian Airlines remains a key driving force for the sustainable development of travel and tourism in Ethiopia. The national carrier continues to engage in several tourism activities to help solve the problem of destination accessibility, which is a vital concern in emerging tourist destinations. Apart from introducing new flights to major cities around the world, Africa’s most profitable carrier also helps make it possible for Ethiopian tour operators to participate in different international travel expos, to promote the attractions of the nation. It recently launched a programme to encourage tourism by partnering with journalists and tour operators to help promote tourist attractions in Ethiopia. The airline also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a number of African countries, which resulted in a dynamic increase in tourist flows to and from the region, as a result of promotion and advertising agreements.
Upgrade and modernisation of major airports’ infrastructure
Ethiopia is investing in the modernisation and expansion of major airports in the country in a bid to satisfy international standards, as well as provide world-class services for business and leisure travellers. The largest project of all is at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, where the runway is being expanded to handle larger aircraft. In addition, self-service check-in kiosks were recently introduced to help simplify the check-in process for passengers and, thus, help ease congestion during peak hours. Once upgrade work at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is completed in late 2013, the airport will boost the travel experience for customers as well as strengthen Addis Ababa as a leading hub in Africa.
Promising future due to increasing demand for exotic destinations
There is a growing trend towards more exotic destinations, as many tourists are becoming more adventurous and are looking for more off-beat and far-flung destinations. Ethiopia is considered an exotic holiday destination due to its magnificent scenery and cultural heritage, which will continue to make the nation a beautiful and exotic destination for tourists. The country will benefit in terms of increased arrivals over the forecast period as the increased demand for exotic travel destinations will provide huge potential for sustainable growth and development within travel and tourism.
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