Reuters Africa is reporting Ethiopia plans to triple its number of foreign visitors to more than 2.5 million by 2020, making tourism a pillar of one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies. In recent years, the Ethiopian government has invested heavily in improving infrastructure and expanding services and agricultural sectors, which will result in an annual economic growth of around 11 percent for Addis Ababa, the country’s capital.
Aaron Maasho writes:
“Though lacking the palm-fringed beaches and safari trails of neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania, the Horn of Africa country boasts magnificent terrain and a fascinating imperial past.
Visitor numbers have risen at least 10 percent a year for the past decade, albeit from a very low base. More than 750,000 tourists came during fiscal year 2014/2015, generating $2.9 billion for the economy, said Culture and Tourism Minister Amin Abdulkadir.
‘There is a lot of demand in terms of bookings and investment plans. Our target is to receive more than 2.5 million in five years time,’ he told Reuters in an interview.
‘This sector will generate foreign direct investment and foreign currency and create job opportunities, as well as contribute to image-building.’
Hilton Worldwide Holdings signed a management deal on Wednesday to open its first hotel in Ethiopia in more than four decades, while sub-Saharan Africa’s first Marriott-branded serviced apartments have also been unveiled in the capital.”
France’s AccorHotels and Ramada say they are also working on new projects in Addis Ababa.
Read more at Reuters Africa.