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Ethiopia ranked 116th out of 136 countries on the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index. The Index that is published by the World Economic Forum measures the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the travel and tourism sector, which in turn, contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country.
The report also ranks the country at 118th for doing business environment, 99th place for safety and security 102th for health and hygiene, 125th for human resources and the labor market, 125th for ICT readiness, 115th on prioritization of tourism and travel and 97th on for international openness, among other ratings.
According to the report in 2017 there were 864,000 tourists who came to Ethiopia and international tourism inbound monetary receipts amounted to USD 394.9 million. Findings also show that the travel and tourism sector employs over one million people and is 4.1 percent of the GDP.
Regarding air travel, the index states that the countries that have been more active in signing bilateral agreements-Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa-have been able to create strong state-owned carriers. Some countries in West Africa rely on privately owned companies, while all other African countries still maintain unprofitable, inefficient and insecure publicly-owned national companies.
“Recently, the five countries with strong national carriers, private operators and small state-owned operators committed to a Single African Air Transport Market that should enter into force by the end of 2017. Air transport in particular, and transport infrastructure generally, remain, to date, the biggest challenges for travel & tourism development in Africa,” it reads.
The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index enables stakeholders to work together to improve the industry’s competitiveness in their national economies. The theme of the current edition “Paving the Way for a More Sustainable and Inclusive Future”, reflects the increasing focus on ensuring the industry’s sustained growth in an uncertain security environment while preserving the natural environment and local communities on which it so richly depends.