Half year performance fetches USD 1.6 billion
Despite the anticipations of many that the extended State of Emergency (SoE), which is about to stay in place for an additional four months’ time, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MoCT) softened the fear that the flow of tourists to the country will remain intact for the year.
Gezahegn Abate, Corporate Communications director at MoCT, told The Reporter that unlike last year, where the political unrests and the six months state of emergency resulted in the cancelations of hundreds of visits, this fiscal year some one million visitors are expected to arrive into the country.
Gezahegn said that the cancellations occurred due to misinterpretations of foreign diplomatic missions that are stationed in the country. It is to be recalled that many embassies have issued travel advisories and warnings to their respective citizens. He said that, currently, the diplomatic corps in Addis Ababa have been consulted on matters of the SoE.
According to the numbers stated for the concluded first half of the fiscal year, USD 1.644 billion has been secured from 439,359 visitors. Yet, both the revenue and the volume of flow have shown decline when compared with last year’s performance in the same period. Accordingly, 478,890 was the number of tourists that came in during last year’s first six months. The revenue generated during the period last year was USD 1.79 billion. Hence, a 148 million dollars shortage of revenue has been recorded this year. At least 500,000 tourists were expected to arrive.
Last fiscal year, the ministry amassed some 3.5 billion dollars from some 900,000 tourists that came for conferences and businesses, for leisure, transits and the like. This year, from one million visitors the government targets to amass some six billion dollars. The plan is to increase the number of tourists to three million by the end of 2020.