Key facts about tourism in Ethiopia

Ethiopia generates substantial income from its tourism sector. The country received over 900,000 visitors in 2015. In the same year, according to World Bank report, tourism created about 1 million jobs while generating over 2 billion dollars in revenue, and contributed an estimated 4.5 per cent to the country’s GDP.

Tourism in Ethiopia is mostly driven by its amazing nine UNESCO world heritage sites, fertile national parks, 3,000 year-old archeological history, and outstanding natural beauty, dramatic landscapes and ancient culture.

Some amazing destinations including the extreme landscape called Dallol, one of the lowest points in African continent lying deep 116 below sea level. This place features an extreme version of hot desert climate overheating all year around. The white and yellow color sparkling salt peaks of the place not only creates colorful floor but it’s also photogenic.

Ethiopia suites any traveler looking for a real exploration and the state of the art ancient architectures including Erta Ale, Dallol and the great Nile river extreme escapades. If wish to see a fire lake here you go, Ethiopia has a place called Erta Ale a bubbling fire lake from 125 meters below sea level. If you truly need to visit this place you better hurry because scientists are predicting that this fire lake is slowly splitting Africa to form an ocean in near future.

In 2016, the country could not follow up with its super performance in 2015. This was a result of political instabilities witnessed in the country and leading to many tourists and visitors declining interest in visiting the beautiful landscapes of Ethiopia.

Despite the crisis, the country witnessed an economic crisis, the country projected to generate 3 billion dollars from the tourism sector as the country has seen growth in each year within the sector.

However, the Ethiopian Ministry of Culture and Tourism could not meet this target as a result of security and safety concerns. In 2016, about 800 thousand tourists visited Ethiopia in 2016, generating over USD 5.6 billion to the country.

Majority of these visitors are from Africa – 31 per cent, followed by Europe – 30 per cent, and North America. Domestic Tourism is also growing with more people taking vacation within the country. However foreign visitor spending is the highest at 68.7 per cent while domestic spending is slowly growing at 31.3 per cent.

As the tourism sector lost its bright prospect in 2016, 2017 is expected to be a great year to repair the sector and make the country the greatest destination in Africa and the whole world. The country continues working towards prioritizing security to ensure the safety of visitors and citizens, as well as to minimize the impact of security threats.

In 2017, there is a brighter outlook as investment in the tourism sector has increased by 3.7 per cent from 2016 investment. Following the investment strength, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism hopes to increase the number of tourists to one million and the revenue to well over USD 29.8 billion this year.

Ethiopia not only became holiday place but it redefined itself as the global unique natural paradise. The tourist friendly country stand out for its hospitality and charm treating vacationers with respect and love creating feel at home atmosphere.

For Ethiopia, the development of hotels seems to be the key driving force for the development of the travel and tourism sector supporting the Ethiopian Ministry of Culture and Tourism mission to collect 6 billion dollars annually, targeting over 2 million foreign and 15 million domestic tourists in the coming four years.

Most travelers have been arriving in Ethiopia basically for leisure – 84.4 per cent while about 15 per cent have been for business purposes. Conferences in Ethiopia has also contributed to bring more visitors to the country. Some greatest destinations in Ethiopia include Addis Ababa, Hawassa, Bishoftu, Bahir Dar as these destinations over the years have seen increase in demand for hospitality infrastructure.

Hotel booking for tourists has been on the rise for these destinations. According to Jumia, Addis Ababa has the highest hotel booking which is about 39 per cent, followed by Hawassa at 11.2%.