Ethiopia’s travel and tourism economy grew by 48 per cent in 2018, the highest growth in the world, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) annual review gauging the economic impact and social importance of the tourism sector. Tourism revenue amounted to US$7.4 billion for the country’s economy in 2018, an increase of US$2.2 billion over 2017. The tourism sector accounts for 9.4 per cent of the country’s economy.
The WTTC research which compares the travel and tourism sector across 185 countries reveals that in 2018 the Ethiopian travel and tourism sector grew significantly more than the global growth rate of 3.9 per cent. The African growth rate of 5.6 per cent supported 2.2 million jobs or 8.3 per cent of total employment in the continent.
Gloria Guevara, president and ceo of WTTC, said: “Ethiopia’s travel and tourism boom was one of the great success stories of 2018. It has exceeded our sector’s global and regional comparisons to record the highest level of growth of any country in 2018. This has been driven by the very strong performance of aviation in the country and the development of Addis Ababa as a dynamic and growing regional hub. Travel and tourism in Ethiopia now accounts for one in every 11 dollars in the entire economy and one in 12 of all jobs. I would like to acknowledge the work of the Ethiopian Government, under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and the country’s commitment to the power of travel and tourism to drive economic growth, job creation and social enhancement.”
Solomon Tadesse, ceo of Ethiopian Tourism Organisation (ETO), said the government plans to popularise Ethiopia as a tourist destination in India and they are organising roadshows with the embassies, airlines office and tourism organisation. “We are organising roadshows in India. We are also inviting potential tour operators. It’s a one-day drill where we also make a presentation about Ethiopia’s potential,” Tadesse said. Ethiopian Airlines flies non-stop flights from Addis Ababa to Mumbai and Delhi.