TOURISM: A NATIONAL PRIORITY
The Growth and Transformation Plan 2010/11-2014/15 prepared and approved by the Federal Government of Ethiopia considered tourism together with culture as cross cutting sectors and set-up as strategic directions to enhance the role tourism and culture play in socio-economic and political development initiatives.
Considering the pace of growth of tourism arrivals and investment in tourism as well as the potential for further development, the new Growth and Transformation Plan for 2015/16-2019/20 has recognized tourism as one of the top five strategic economic sectors in Ethiopia.
A NEW FRAMEWORK TO TRANSFORM TOURISM IN ETHIOPIA
In 2013, the Government of Ethiopia proclaimed Federal Regulation 294/2013, which established the Tourism Transformation Council, the Ethiopian Tourism Organization (ETO) and the Tourism Board.
- The Tourism Transformation Council is chaired by the Prime Minister. Its role is to provide leadership and set directions for tourism development and marketing, remove major impediments, foster institutional collaboration and ensure implementation.
- The mandate of the Ethiopian Tourism Organization is to enhance the benefits of tourism in a sustainable and competitive manner by mobilizing and providing leadership to the tourism sector and stakeholders towards tourism destination development and marketing.
- The Tourism Board oversees the ETOs activities, provides guidance, reviews and approves work programs and budgets and evaluates the performance of the Organization.
VISION AND MISSION OF THE ETO
“Develop the country’s tourist destinations in collaboration with various stakeholders, market and promote the destination at national and international level through employing competitive marketing and promotional strategies.”
“Making Ethiopia among the top five tourist destinations in Africa by 2025”.
MAIN AREAS OF WORK OF THE ETO
The ETO started operations in 2014 and it is working hard to implement its mandate that can be summarized as follows:
Fostering Destination and Product Development
Improving the competitiveness and sustainability of tourism destinations, products and services in Ethiopia through smart and efficient destination planning and management, human resources development, quality services, investment promotion and business development; properly aligned with market opportunities and requirements. The ETO will also identify policies essential to the development of tourism.
Marketing Ethiopia as a Tourism Destination
Improving the image of Ethiopia in the world, contributing to a strong and attractive destination brand, and leading a consistent and coordinated effort to communicate and promote the different destinations and tourism products Ethiopia has to offer, in collaboration with the private sector and the regional governments. The domestic market will also be targeted.
Ensure Collaboration and Alignment
Bringing together and ensure proper communication and coordination among the different stakeholders involved, directly or indirectly, in tourism development and marketing. In particular: federal government bodies, regional and local governments, private sector associations, NGOs and donors.
The ETO is based in Addis Ababa and works in close collaboration with public and private stakeholders.
Mr. Yohannes Tilahun was appointed as the new CEO of the Ethiopian Tourism Organization by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in May 2017.
Mr. Tewolde Gebremariam, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, is the Chairman of the Tourism Board that oversees the ETO.
The members of the Tourism Board are high level officers of public organizations that have an impact on tourism development (Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Immigration, Ethiopia National Bank, Ethiopian Investment Commission, Authority for the Research and Conservation of the Cultural Heritage (ARCCH), Ethiopia Road Authority, Ethiopian Airports Enterprise, Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority, Ethiopian Federal Police Commission and Ethiopian Government Communication Office). The Tourism Board also has representatives from the private sector associations (hotels and tour operators).