Addis Ababa July 07/2017 Ethiopia, which has large agricultural population and rich heritages, needs to strengthen inter-sectoral linkages between tourism and agriculture in order to improve value supply chain in rural areas, according to UNCTAD.
Chief African Section Research and Policy Analysis at UNCTAD, Junior Davis told ENA despite the strong growth of the tourism sector, work need to be done to benefit communities in rural areas that has huge potential in the sector.
“I think that tourism has grown very strongly. If we look at air passenger transport and air passenger transport revenues, Ethiopia is one of the strongest performers on the continent.”
Ethiopian airlines – the major air traffic hub for the continent plays crucial role in this regard. It is one of the strongest players in the region, the expert assured.
In nine months of the last Ethiopian fiscal year, tourism sector has enabled the country to generate a sum of 2.7 billion USD from the 712,111 visitors.
In Ethiopia, contribution of tourism to the GDP is higher at 10.6 percent, according to the 2014 UNCTAD report. The African average during the reported period was 8.5 percent.
More could be done to strengthen inter-sectoral linkages between tourism and agriculture particularly in terms of getting farmers into tourism value supply chains.
By doing so, Ethiopia would manage to minimize its spending on imports in the sector and will be able to provide employment and income generation opportunity for its own people.
Tourism provides decent jobs which are accessible both to women and men and precisely with less relatively low entry barriers into the sector, according to UNCTAD.
Tourism is very labor intensive. Between 2011 and 2014, it generated 21 million jobs - 1 in 14 jobs - in the continent, while in Ethiopia it creates on average 1 million jobs.
“The countryside is fantastic many of my own countrymen live here because they love the culture, the rich diversity, the food and the climate”, he affirmed.
This rich diversity in culture, food and climate is a good opportunity for Ethiopia’s tourism sector, he said.
“I think it has a lot to offer for tourism destinations not only just business but also for leisure and for ecotourism and for cultural tourism especially for cultural tourism” he underlined.
Ethiopia, the Land of Origins, has named as the world’s most welcoming country by global followers of Rough Guides recently, a publisher that provides up-to-date content for travelers.
Ethiopia has set a target to secure seven billion USD in revenues from tourism by the end of the second five-year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) period in 2020.