Ethiopia earned more than $3.4 billion from tourism receipts in the fiscal year that ended on July 7, a huge leap from last year’s revenues.
The Culture and Tourism ministry said the revenue was a half billion more than earnings in the previous year of $2.9 billion. More than 918 000 people visited Ethiopia during the year under review, the ministry said.
Ten years ago tourism contributed one percent to Ethiopia’s gross domestic product (GDP), which has now grown to four percent.
Gezahegn Abate, the Tourism ministry spokesperson, said the trend showed there was potential for a significant increase in the sector’s contribution to the GDP.
At least 88,000 foreign tourists visited Ethiopia each month and spending 16 days on average during the period under review. Tourists mostly visited world heritage sites and historical sites.
They also attended cultural events held in the country. However, Abate said a significant amount of foreigners visited Ethiopia to attend international conferences and exhibitions.
“The increasing influence of the country that helped Ethiopia host international events had also a direct and positive impact in boosting tourism,” Gezahegn said. Over 83,700 foreigners attended conferences in Ethiopia last year, the ministry said.
Ethiopia wants to be among the top five destinations in Africa by 2022.
Source: The Africa Report