Ethiopia: Chinese Eyeing Tourism Sector

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The diverse culture and various tourism sites can attract Chinese investors to engage in the sector.

Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia La Yifan said that the relations between Ethiopia and his country made the Chinese interested to engage in tourism is believed a potential sector for mutual benefit.

Opening a workshop deliberating on the two countries Tourism Industry Cooperation organized by the embassy in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism yesterday, the Ambassador said as the second populous country next to Nigeria Ethiopia can be advantageous to gain a lot from tourism because the sector creates job opportunity for hundreds of thousands and support poverty reduction scheme.

He said the education policy implemented by the government can produce more educated human resource which further take the sector to a higher level.

The Ambassador also said that the Ethiopian Airlines is the largest airline in the continent which make Addis hub of air transport not only between China and Ethiopia but also between China and the whole continent as up to 70 per cent of its passengers are Chinese.

The passengers travel to Ethiopia to make business and stopover to other countries as well. According to the Ambassador, currently the Ethiopian Airlines makes 28 weekly direct flights to China and no other African country could compete the Ethiopian in this regard. The fair cost of the airline also made it to be preferable.

Culture and Tourism State Minister Tadelech Dalecho on her part said that the two countries half century relations inspire the flourishing of business and investment in which both gained a lot.

She further said that the diverse culture and various tourism sites can attract Chinese investors to engage in the sector.

According to the State Minster, the government gave special attention to stimulate the sector and is ready to offer incentive including tax holidays to investors. By now, there are numerous tourist sites such as Lalibela Rock-Hewn Churches ,mosques ,monuments, castles and very impressive eco-tourism sites registered by UNESCO and the number of foreign tourists is increasing from time to time.

Ethiopia has numerous cultural, natural, historical and archaeological sites which could be visited both by local and international tourists. The rapid infrastructural development such as roads, airports, telecommunication, hotels, health facilities potable water further create a conducive tourism environment and currently the sector is believed to significantly contributes to the GDP.

Ethiopia envisages becoming one of the top five tourist destinations in Africa by 2020.