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The Ethiopian Ministry of Culture and Tourism has completed a ten year tourism master plan to boost its tourism sector based on the Sustainable Tourism Master Plan formulated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in 2013. The new tourism plan, which will be implemented at the beginning of 2015 took one and half years to prepare and was funded by the United nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
The goal is for Ethiopia to become one of the top five tourist destinations in Africa and hopes are that this plan, which utilizes product and human resource development, investment in infrastructure, natural heritage and conservation as well as marketing and promotion will accomplish this.
Amin Abdulkedir, Minister of Culture and Tourism said tourism can bring a lot of money into a nation’s economy and this plan will help the country to earn more income from the sector. He says one thing they have been working on over the last ten years is to develop more and better facilities for tourists.
According to Dr Ray Muntida, advisor to the preparation of the master plan at IGAD, the master plan would help the nation to realize its goal of becoming one of the top five tourist destinations by 2020.
The master plan is tabled for discussion to gather additional inputs that will be incorporated in the draft sustainable tourism master plan (STMP).
The STMP is an initiative currently being developed through the technical support provided by the Sub-Regional Office for Eastern Africa (SRO-EA) and the Division for Regional Integration and Trade (RITD), in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Dr Ray added that the peaceful situation in the country is attractive for tourists and that people need to work together so that tourism can reach its full potential.
Ethiopia is the first country to prepare a tourism plan among the IGAD Member Countries and Uganda is expected to soon finalize its’ ten years tourism master Plan. Ethiopia expects to bring in USD three billion from tourism.