Financing Conference Brings Opportunity for Tourism

The Third International Conference on Financing for Development held in Addis Ababa last week has brought good opportunity for the country’s tourism sector, an official said.

In an exclusive interview with Ethiopian News Agency, CEO of the Ethiopian Tourism Organization (ETO) Solomon Tadesse said that they used the four-day conference that attracts 5,000 participants from 193 countries to promote Ethiopia’s tourist attractions.

An Ethiopian village has established and an exhibition was open at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), where the conference was held, to promote the country’s diverse culture, and history, among other values.

“5,000 to 7,000 participants came to Ethiopia to take part in this conference. Most of them are here for the first time. This is a good opportunity for us to show the true image of the country to the rest of the world”, he said.

Close to 3000 delegates as well as representatives of international businesses visited the village and exhibition.

Discussions have also been carried out with participants to promote the nation’s tourism potential so as to persuade them to visit the country again.

“Our efforts to promote the fast economic growth of the country and increasing tourist destinations was successful and the discussions were constructive”, he stated.

Ethiopia is becoming an epicenter of investment and tourist destination due to internal strengthens and achievements which the country made during the past 20 years, he pointed out.

He noted that the conference is a testimony of Ethiopia’s potential to be center of conference tourism.

The European Council on Trade and Tourism (ECTT) recently announced that Ethiopia has the potential to attract 20 million tourists over the coming 10 years if it consolidates the ongoing tourism development efforts.

“We need to work hard for the development of the sector and need to show and tell the rest of world that Addis Ababa has the capacity to host international conferences”, he said.

Some participants of the conference agreed about Ethiopia’s potential in the tourism sector.

Georgian Permanent Representative to the AU Vakhtang Jaoshvili said Ethiopia is a country that should be visited by all tourists around the world noting its potential for tourism.

The Representative finds that the nation is “truly fascinating”.

He appreciated the hospitality of the people saying: “Ethiopians are the most friendly, humble and respectful people in the world. I have fallen in love with the country and consider it as the land of human species.”

Aashish Khullar, a participant from America said.”I have travelled in different countries including African countries, but Ethiopia is different in many ways from its counterparts. I have seen a very interesting style of diversity, beautiful sites and really rich history.”

Ethiopia is not only owner of world heritage sites but also it is a symbol of tolerance and peaceful coexistence among different religions and cultures, he said.

This year, Ethiopia has named World Best Tourist Destination for 2015 and received the Favourite Cultural Destination Distinction for 2015 award by the General Assembly of the European Council on Tourism and Trade.

The country has been also named as a perfect center for safari and adventure tourism, offering large areas suitable for this special kind of tourism.

The necessary infrastructure to welcome the adventure seeker, and its safety and peace makes the country one of the world’s top adventure destinations.