Ethiopia – the rise of a sleeping giant in Africa


(Posted 16th April 2019)


(The AU headquarters in Addis Ababa – aka the Capital of Africa – Picture courtesy of Ethiopian Airlines)

Ethiopia has in the recent past received additional coverage from ATCNews and is on the way to become the ATCNews feature country for 2019 / 2020.
It is intended to increase coverage about the country, which has at times been described as Africa’s sleeping tourism giant and last frontier but also, invariably, as a black hole when it comes to reporting about the attractions of the country.
History and culture, nature, food, song and poetry all blend together in this exciting destination which has finally emerged from the sidelines and set her sights on becoming a major tourism power on the continent.
Ethiopian Airlines of course, the largest and most successful airline in Africa, has year after year seen more and more passengers transit in Addis Ababa, where, with the new Terminal 2 now open, a completely new transit experience awaits passengers.
In the past however have the numbers of airline passengers NOT translated into a significant rise in visitor numbers, until last year that is when tourism into Ethiopia grew by nearly 50 percent.
The launch last year of Visa on Arrival for AU member state citizens and the launch of e-Visa for visitors from other continents has boosted visitor numbers and the trend, from all available data seen, continues this year too.
Last year did the tourism industry inject some 7.4 billion US Dollars into the economy, 2.2 billion US Dollars more than the year before while supporting a record number of jobs across the country, including of course the aviation industry in Ethiopia. The latter not only comprises the airline itself but ground handling, aircraft maintenance, an aviation academy and more and the opening of new hotels shows that the new powers that be in Ethiopia have recognized the importance of the tourism sector and its ability to attract Foreign Direct Investment and help create jobs at a fast pace.

Writes a source from Addis Ababa:

The timeless charm of Ethiopia’s natural, cultural and historical tourist attractions has been driving an influx of tourists from far and wide. As the land where mankind, coffee and the Blue Nile trace their roots, Ethiopia has always been a fascinating destination for holidaymakers.
The country’s UNESCO-registered heritages including the majestic obelisks of Axum, the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela and the fortified historic town of Harar, among others, have always remained tourist magnets, drawing visitors in droves.
And add to this the magnificent scenery and the unique wildlife riches, some of which are found in the country only.

As the Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing & Exhibitions (MICE) tourism blossoms around the world, Ethiopia is also uniquely positioned to reap the benefits, owing to its unique place in Africa’s diplomatic landscape.

Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa hosts the African Union headquarters and the offices of UN-ECA among others. Addis is the proverbial capital of Africa and welcomes diplomats and executives from across the continent and the rest of the world.

With its remarkable safety record and forward-looking infrastructure boom, today the city stands among the top capitals in the world, hosting major regional and global conferences.
As the main hub of the Pan-African carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, Ethiopia also enjoys convenient air connectivity with some 60 destinations in Africa and the almost the same number across the rest of the world, making travel to the country easier than ever before. The connectivity options the airline offers to travelers has made Ethiopia ever more accessible to the whole world, and has facilitated the influx of tourists.

The airline’s catalyst role has never been more impactful, especially in promoting tourism, as alluded to by Gloria Guevara, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council concerning the exceptional growth of Ethiopia’s tourism.

“Ethiopia’s Travel & 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”,

Gloria Guevara notes.

“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.”

Africa’s largest carrier today spreads its wings to 120 destinations throughout the world, with half the destinations in Africa. Thanks to Addis Ababa’s strategic location at the center of the East-West lane and the ever-expanding service of Ethiopian Airlines, the city has emerged as the major gateway into Africa surpassing Dubai. Besides its wide connectivity and multi-award winning signature services, the flag carrier’s cutting –edge technologies are adding a definite wow factor that is enabling the influx of tourists savor the beauty of the nation and designate the east Africa’s nation as a home away from home!

The Ethiopian Mobile App enables international travelers secure eVisa within 4 hours and elevates travelers to a high degree of personalization and endto end travel experience through mobile devices.
Global passengers can apply e-Visa and book their flights, pay online using credit or debit cards, mobile money, e- Wallet and bank transfer. They can also check-in and issue boarding pass as well as self-board. Passport and Ethiopian App suffice all the way to experience seamless travel to and from Ethiopia.

The excellence of Ethiopian is also manifest in its hospitality and award winning services. The carrier has been certified by SKYTRAX as Four Star Global Airline and received multiple global and continental awards for their services, last year and the years before.

As Ethiopia keeps leveraging its edge as a destination of choice for holidaymakers, and as Addis Ababa continues to augment its place as the diplomatic capital of Africa and the flourishing hub of Ethiopian Airlines, the sky will be the limit to its tourism growth in the years to come!

That all said are a few links to previous articles shown below to outline the trend over the past two years, when Ethiopia finally broke with the shackles of the past and entered the modern age world, with all the great many opportunities going along with it.

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