Ethiopia Tourism Agency proclaimed that it has been striving to develop tourist destination areas in a bid to increase tourist inflow. Agency Tourist Destination Areas Development Director Chirenet Tilahun told The Ethiopian Herald recently that the Agency has been providing design development support to investors who show tendency to engage in destination areas development.
Indicating that all the Ethiopian parks do not have information centers that provide full-fledged information for tourists, Chirenet said the Agency, in collaboration with stakeholders, is constructing campsites, visitor centers in Nech Sar and Semine Mountains National Parks
The Agency is intervening in in tourist destination sites where there are basic facility gaps and which could be developed by private investors. Besides, the Agency is promoting destination areas that need to be developed through the involvement of investors though their participation is very limited.
Foreign investors are now engaged in destination area development. The task carrying out in Al-nejashi Mosque is a case in point. Ethiopian Diasporas have also been affiancing in the construction of tourist shelters in camps.
So far, the Agency has not identified new destination areas. However, as they are not developed well, it focuses on the existing tourist destinations. Particularly, the Agency would give major area of focus to developing western and southern natural heritages.
When tourists travel to rural parts of the country where many tourist destinations are available, they could not find sheltering and restaurant service facilities.
The very reason is that investors have little interest to spend capital in remote areas, but in big towns. The Agency, through providing various incentives, has been convincing investors to invest in various tourist destination sites and gain more benefits from the sector, he said.
According to him, most of the investors are devoted to invest in the capital Ababa rather than in tourist destination sites.
So, the Agency is dedicated to promote investment reward for investors investing in destination areas.
Ensuring equal distribution of service delivery institutions is critical to increase the number of tourist influx. If there are no the desired services, the tourists could not spend much of their wealth, time in these areas. By and large; the nation could not gain the desired benefit from the sector. So, the Agency has developed strategy to address the aforesaid challenges, Chirenet remarked.
The availability of tourist facilities has its own direct impact on the number of tourists influx. Hence, the Agency needs to address the challenge through creating consensus with private investors.
The incentives given to investors engaged in developing tourist destinations include tax holiday and free land access to build hotel. However, as these are not mean enough, the Agency is working to provide complete incentive packages via discussing with investor, as per the mandate given to it,as the Director stated.
BY GIRMACHEW GASHAW