By Bilal Derso
Ministry of Culture and Tourism said that the country wants China to replicate its leading involvement in manufacturing sector in tourism and hospitality.
Public and International Relations Director with the Ministry Gezahegn Abate told The Ethiopian Herald that Ethiopia is desirous to Chinese investors to engage in the construction of star- rated hotels, lodges and resorts across tourist attraction sites.
Ethiopia has untapped tourism potentials and the government offers attractive incentive packages including customs duty exemption, income tax holidays, and offering land in competitive lease price for investors want to engage in the hospitality sector, Gezahegn elaborated.
The Director stated that the two countries have done more to widen their cultural cooperation and the frequent high-level dialogues and visits could also play a pivotal role in encouraging Chinese investors to involve in Ethiopia’s tourism industry.
He said: “Ethiopia’s massive infrastructural developments and conducive investment policy have the lion’s share in luring Chinese investors and the government is committed to support foreign investors who want to engage in the hospitality industry.”
According to him, tourism sector representatives of the two countries have reached an agreement to foster partnership and hosted periodic meetings in the view to enhance flow of Chinese investment in Ethiopia’s tourism sector.
The Director noted that plan is put in place to pave ways for Chinese companies seize Ethiopia’s wider tourism investment opportunities and support them to replicate the success they witnessed in the manufacturing sector in tourism and hospitality.
Furthermore, the two countries hosted frequent Ethiopia- China Tourism Industry Cooperation dialogues to promote Ethiopia’s tourism investment potentials among potential Chinese stakeholders.
Concerning individual tourists from China, Gezahegn indicated that the number of tourists coming both individually and in group has shown a significant progress and the Ministry is partnering with pertinent stakeholders including Ethiopian Airlines to keep the tourist influx.
Ethiopian frequent flights and extensive destinations to China are proving successful in promoting Ethiopia’s tourist attraction sites and helping Ministry’s efforts to attract more tourists from that country, he noted.
With five destinations and 31 total weekly flights, China is the single largest market for Ethiopian, information obtained from the Airliner disclosed.