In the concluded nine months of the current Ethiopian fiscal year, the tourism sector has enabled the country to generate a sum of USD 2.7 billion in revenue from 712,111 visitors which is found to be below the target set for the period.
According to Sisay Teklu, Director of Tourism Sector Stakeholder’s Relations Directorate at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MoCT), the country was able to amass close to three billion dollars where the targeted revenue was set at six billion dollars per year since the start of the implementation of the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) where six million more visitors were also assumed to visit Ethiopia. The official nine-month condensed performance report, however, is yet to be publicized soon.
The numbers mentioned here correspond to the 2013 fiscal year performance of the tourism sector. Back in 2013, the country achieved USD two billion from 724,000 visitors.
In a related news, in the concluded star-rating program the MoCT has initiated a couple of months ago, some 359 hotels have been evaluated and out of that close to 100 hotels were given zero stars. According to Sisay, Addis Ababa was able to star-rate 139 hotels out of the 359 in the country. Currently, the capital has 75 officially announced star-rated hotels. 38 hotels have been star-rated but remain undisclosed due to some irregularities the hotels ought to address. However, there are 26 hotels which have been found to be below the star rating standards.
In addition to Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa—the two city administrations in the federal government—hotels in seven regional states have been evaluated. The Oromia Regional State stood top next to the capital with 70 hotels but out of that only 20 have been able to receive star rates. 32 more hotels ought to comply with the criteria which included compulsory guidelines such as safety measures, sanitation and hygiene, kitchen and bedroom tidiness and the like. Dire Dawa Administration and Harari Regional State are on waiting list to receive stars for their 16 and 3 hotels, respectively.
It can be recalled that the MoCT planned to star-rate some 400 hotels believed to be fit for the international star-rating designed and assisted by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).