BrandArena: President Obama Visit to Enhance Ethiopian Tourism

Monday 3 August 2015

President Obama Visit to Enhance Ethiopian Tourism

From the moment the news spread of President Barack Obama’s visit to Ethiopia, excitement awed many Ethiopians. His arrival on July 26, and two-day business visit which concluded on Tuesday, July 28, entailed the significance of Ethiopia in terms of economy and tourism.

Travel and tourism are important socio-economic aspects in countries around the world. The industry has great direct economic impact. In Ethiopia, the industry’s contribution to GDP was 4.2% in 2013 and it has risen by 4.5% in 2014. The figure is predicted to rise by 4.8% by 2024. This primarily reflects the economic activity generated by stakeholders in the industry.

The landlocked republic Ethiopia at the Horn of Africa, split by the Great Rift Valley with archaeological discoveries dating back to centuries, entices many travelers. It remains a place of ancient history and culture. Among its important sites are Lalibela and Aksum, and many others.

According to World Travel and Tourism Council 2014 report, Ethiopia’s tourism has created close to 100,000 jobs in 2013, contributing 3.8% to the total employment. This includes employment by hotels, travel agencies, airlines and other passenger transportation services. It also comprises the activities of the restaurant and leisure industries. The industry is estimated to generate a staggering number of 1,049,000 employment in 10 years.

Designing and embedding programs and marketing strategies linking the sector with the broader development agenda has become the priority of the government. It has promoted the country through more than 200 travel agents. To boost the promotion of the country and hotels, Jovago joined the Ethiopian market believing that the country has enormous potential yet to be discovered. Jovago brought over 400 hotels in Ethiopia online creating easy access to travelers ans thus bringing more people to the land of antiquity.

“Ethiopia has so much to be proud of. It has come a long way and how the world sees this historical country has changed a lot” said Estelle Verdier, Managing Director of East and Southern Africa. “The recent Obama visit is also a proof that the country is expanding its horizons in all aspects.” she added.

The visit of Obama, one of the world’s powerful leaders, will also lift the growing trend of the sector. “The future of Africa is up to Africans”, said Obama during a trip to Kenya and Ethiopia. Certainly, Ethiopia has taken the responsibility emphasizing on tourism to tackle poverty. It has put in place development policies and strategies to enhance the income from the sector. Additionally, Ethiopia has recently been awarded by the European Council on Tourism and Trade as World Best Tourist destination.

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