ADDIS ABABA: In a bid to renew its historical and cultural ties with India and boost its economy through tourism, Ethiopia has launched efforts to woo Indians, who otherwise come to the archaeologically-rich country only for business purposes.
"India has a lot of potential. We have many common things with India including cultural and political. We have to explore it and start working to get more Indian tourists to Ethiopia," Solomon Tadesse , CEO, Ethiopian Tourism Organisation said.
Keeping the interests of the Indian middle-class in mind, Tadesse said that they are working towards cost-effective methods and Ethiopian Airlines , the national carrier of Ethiopia has been working in this respect.
"A lot of Chinese tourists come here for business. Indians have been coming to Ethiopia for business but not as tourists. So we are working to get more Indian tourists and our national carrier 'Ethiopian Airlines' is contributing to this. This will be cost-effective and would help the Indian middle-class get to know more about our country," Tadesse said.
Ethiopia, in the Horn of Africa, is a rugged, landlocked country split by the Great Rift Valley. With archaeological finds dating back more than 3 million years, it's a place of ancient culture.
Since 1960s, many Indians have come to Ethiopia as teachers and have taught various languages among other subjects.
"Indians came in 1960 as teachers and taught different languages. In fact my headmaster was an Indian. So we have a long connection with India," he said.
Asked how the government plans to popularise Ethiopia as a tourist destination in India, Tadesse said that they are organising roadshows - which are a threesome of the embassies, airlines office and tourism organisation.
"We are organising roadshows in India. We are also inviting potential mega tour operators along with our local tour operators. Its a one-day drill where we also make presentation about Ethiopia's potential," Tadesse added.
Located in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is aggressively promoting its tourism with the tagline-'Land of Origins'. The tourism department has been working towards product upgrades and expansion which include improving the infrastructure and better facilities for the tourists.