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Pagumen Tour and Travel SC announced that it will begin operating as of the 13th Ethiopian month (Pagumen). The company, which is the first of its kind, has plans to manage at least 500 foreign tourists during its first year of operation.
At a press conference held on Thursday August 31 at Marriott Executive Apartments Addis Ababa the founder of Pagumen Tour and Travel announced that additional shares with the a value of 1,000 per share were floated. The company was established a year ago by 38 founding shareholders with a paid up capital of 8.5 million birr. Gizachew Sisay, board chairman of the share company, said that up to now shares worth 50 million birr have been sold to 710 share buyers.
According to the company prospectus the total investment that it needs is about 80 million birr. They plan to sell more shares in the next two months.
Derebe Sinegiorgis, founding member, said that the share company was formed to modernize tourism.
“We have everything to magnify the tourism sector but in reality we are unable to compete with other neighboring countries who have limited tourist attractions,” he said.
“We need to earn adequate revenue from the sector,” Derebe added.
Gizachew said that the company will bring a unique aspect to tourism. The company plans to feature tour guides, car rental and event organizing for now and in the near future extend to training and other tourist operations.
“According to our study, we will manage lodges and hotels in the coming few years,” Derebe told Capital.
The company taken advantage of government incentives for tourism.
“We have already imported three vehicles duty free, and we will use the tax holiday that the government allows when we start,” the board chairman told Capital.
“The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has strongly supported us since our dream is very wide,” Gizachew said.
The delay on LC approval is the challenge that the company faced when it has attempted to import high standard vehicles.
“Currently we have already imported four vehicles and ten more, including three modern buses have already been ordered,” Gizachew said.
The country has enormous historical, social and natural tourism potential and in the past few years revenue has been slowly growing.
Some tour operators want the government to give as much attention to tourism as it does to coffee or industrial products.