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Ethiopia officially launched a new tourism organization with the goal of transforming the sector and its revenue.
The Ethiopian Tourism Organization (ETO) managed by Solomon Tadesse was officially launched on Tuesday July 1 at their main office located on Bole Road (Africa Avenue), is part of the new institutional framework established in the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) to expand the revenue the nation earns from tourism.
By the end of the GTP the government hopes to earn USD three Billion from tourism.
“Our mandates includes: fostering competitiveness and sustainability of tourism destinations and products, marketing Ethiopia as tourism destination (leading a coordinated effort to position Ethiopia in the international travel market and to promote domestic tourism), and ensure collaboration and alignment of public and private organizations involved in tourism development based on a shared strategy,” the CEO of ETO said.
Recently the government has formed a Tourism Transformation Council (TTC) and Tourism Board to boost the sector. These two institutions and top government officials will oversee the development of the sector and organization. ETO’s vision is to place Ethiopia among the top five tourism destinations in Africa by 2020. “Our mission is to transform tourism in Ethiopia, leaving no stone unturned to build a competitive and sustainable tourism sector,” Solomon said.
ETO board Chairman, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam said that the organization coordinates tourism development activities in the country to make the nation one of the best tourist destinations.
The organization is going to be managed by 13 board members that are drawn from both government organizations and private organizations.
“We will be proactive in the identification of market opportunities and partnerships, and we will search for innovate approaches to tourism development and marketing,” Solomon said.
The government plans to increase the number of tourists to one million by the end of the GTP from the current 500,000. The sector generation has reached about USD half a billion over the past year, while the target in 2015 is USD three billion.
ETO will focus on developing the nation’s tourist destinations and promoting positive images.
The United Nations Development Program supports the organization.