Tourism industry can spur the growth of diversified industrial bases and easily gears large number of agrarian population into tourism business through interactive training and empowerment, Addis Ababa University Community Services Director and Tourism Researcher Dr. Mulugeta Fiseha says.
In an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald Dr. Mulugeta says as the sector demands relatively low investment and training costs, Ethiopia's tourism sites have the potential to reduce poverty levels through creating massive jobs for the youth, women and farmers.
Tourism is not yet tapped, he says adding the fact that the sector which very much suffices with the government policy of building resilient economy which is known as smokeless industry could be very much helpful in the development trajectory.
While talking how to develop the sector Dr. Mulugeta says “One way is through promoting the development of tourism. It is possible to create huge number of jobs to people, improve livelihoods, and maximize the tapping of untapped resources.”
The researcher underlines through the provision of short term trainings in the technical and vocational educational training scheme, people can develop skill to pursue a career and be certified to operate tourism services.
Praising government's strong commitment and interest to transform the sector, Dr. Mulugeta further said: “Ethiopia needs to promote and market its multitude tourism resources. To this effect, he stated government bodies assigned for the development of tourism in the country should work in collaboration with research institutions and researchers to utilize their research outputs in a manner to transform tourism.”
Equally it is prudent to access micro financing system and extend small loans and other basic financial services to people that don’t have access to capital, according to Dr. Mulugeta. .
This strategy apart from enabling the people to create new employment opportunities and pull themselves and their family out of poverty, it is central to develop the sector, and preserve the attractions and heritages.
BY HAFTU GEBREZGABIHER