Ministry Developing Regional Tourist Package

Addis Ababa, February 12/2022 /ENA/ Efforts are underway to develop a regional tourist package that enables tourists to visit Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti combined, according to Ministry of Tourism.

State Minister Sileshi Girma told ENA that regional tour packages that allow tourists to visit more than one country at once on a pre-arranged, pre-paid trip are becoming very popular these days.

Kenya and Ethiopia tour operators have accordingly started to sell a tourist package which enables tourists to visit the two countries on pre-paid and pre-arranged trips.

Moreover, the ministry has started communicating with Djibouti and Kenya to design and promote regional tourist packages in the East Africa region.

Upon finalization of the package for the three countries, tourists could visit the Ethiopian mountains, Djibouti beach fronts, and Masai Mara park combined as one destination, he explained.

According to Sileshi, his ministry had invited tourism ministry members, tour operators and members of the media from Kenya and Djibouti and shown them the tourist attractions that Ethiopia has.

The objective is to create business-to-business connection among them so as to help them design and develop more regional package.

The countries will also carry out joint promotions that enable them to publicize the three countries as one package destination, the state minster added..

"We have also started to communicate with the relevant tourist bodies in Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania to be able to harness the regional market," he further disclosed.

Up until now, the major source of tourists are Western countries, mainly from North America and Europe.

However, Sileshi pointed out that the number of tourists has declined during the past year due to the COVID pandemic and security crisis.

Therefore, Ethiopia eyes to attracting more tourists from Africa and Asia to increase the revenues it is earning from the traditional tourist market.

In a bid to recover the sector and be among the top five tourist destinations in Africa, the ministry has started to focus on new markets, mainly in Africa and Asia, he stated.

Kenya receives more than two million tourists annually, out of which half are from African countries..

The state minister said that Kenya is leading the tourist market in East Africa because it understood the continental and regional potential as a source of tourists.

"We will also be there soon. Within five years, we will be at least in the top five tourist destinations in Africa." 

In this regard, the improved visa regime, including the launch of online visa and visa on arrival, coupled with grand improvement on the airport expansion, will enable tourists to enjoy the country, Sileshi added.

With respect to the COVID pandemic, Ethiopia has already received a safe travel stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council. Only a few countries have achieved the status which enables the country to increase tourists, coupled with improved security in the country.

The increasing air connectivity of Ethiopian Airlines will also help, he noted.

Ethiopia is the leading country in Africa that has maximum number of heritage site inscribed by UNESCO.

Thus, the state minister said that it is not fair that the country currently ranks between 16th and 18th on the continent in terms of the number of tourists it receives per annum.

Ethiopian News Agency