ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) --
Ethiopia is working towards enhancing its
hospitality industry capacity and welcome more foreign tourists,
said an official with the tourism ministry on Thursday.
Speaking to Xinhua,
Gezahegn Abate, Public and International Relations Director of
the Ethiopia Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MoCIT), said his
ministry has been working with public and private stakeholders
to boost the country’s hospitality industry capacity and
diversify the nationality of foreign tourists visiting the
Ethiopia earned 3.5
billion U.S. dollars from 934,000 tourists who visited the
country in the Ethiopian Fiscal Year 2010 (2017/2018), that
ended on July 7, said the official.
Abate mentioned the
MoCIT’s work in attracting tourists from the world’s most
populous nation, China, which he said has shown a steady
increase in the past several years despite the unrest the East
African country went through since 2016.
“MoCT is encouraging
Chinese investment in Ethiopia’s hospitality sector with a view
to dramatically increasing the number of Chinese tourists,”
With a view to
making tourism a major hard currency earner, Ethiopia is
implementing incentives for entrepreneurs involved in the
tourism and hospitality industry, including duty free
arrangements for construction materials.
Chinese tourists are
the third largest group of tourists to Ethiopia, only surpassed
in numbers by tourists from the United States and UK.
169.6 million U.S. dollars from 45,3017 Chinese tourists that
visited the country in 2017.
The 2017 Chinese
tourists’ figures have shown a steady increase from 2016
numbers, which stood at 41,659.
The national flag
carrier Ethiopian airlines already flies to five destinations in
China: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chengdu and Guangzhou and
plans to start flights to Shenzhen later this year.