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Published on : Monday, March 21, 2016
According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ethiopia’s tourism industry showed a rise by 108,136 visitors and generated 404, 842,160 more USD in the first half of the current fiscal year, which among others has been ascribed to government’s commitment to the sector, and particularly the undertaking of active promotional packages by the Ethiopian embassies and consuls.
The reliable peace and security in the country, infrastructural development and the expansion of hotels at tourist destinations have also contributed a great deal to the new impetus evident in the industry. In an exclusive interview with the Ethiopian News Agency (ENA), Mr. Gezahegn Abate, Public and International Relations Director at the ministry disclosed 478,890 tourists have visited Ethiopia during the first half of the current fiscal year, which showed a rise by 108,136 visitors as viewed against the performance witnessed during the same period of the previous yea; thereby generating 1.7 billion dollars, a figure way over last year’s performance by404, 842,160 dollars.
Noting that the newly defined Ethiopian brand, “Ethiopia, Land of Origins” is set to transform Ethiopia’s tourism industry into a new chapter, the Director said, “The brand has its logo, slogan and icons drafted in a blue background and the tree with full of green, yellow and red colors and its full root simply to show Ethiopia has its original identity and strong ties among the nations, nationalities and peoples.”
The new brand, the director said would be instrumental in encouraging scientists, researchers and other interested foreign visitors to discover Ethiopia and see its unique features. Reminding that Ethiopia is the land of ancient civilization, the cradle of mankind; origin of coffee, rich history, culture and source of Blue Nile, the new brand “Ethiopia, Land of Origins” was unveiled at the Berlin International Tourism Trade Fair in early March, 2016, he added. Indeed the extraordinary achievements of ancient civilizations of Axum, the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, the castles of Gondar, the colorful holy Islamic city of Harar are all among the World Heritage Sites found in Ethiopia. In fact, the General Assembly of the European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) has rated Ethiopia as the number one World Best Tourist Destination and Favorite Cultural Destination for 2015. By the end of the second five-year Growth and Transformation Plan Period (GTP2), the country’s tourism sector is expected to generate seven billion dollars.