Ethiopia poised to attract more tourists from Russia

Tigrai Online
Dec. 28 2009

Axum Obelisk in Tigrai northern Ethiopia

APA-Moscow (Russia) The Ethiopian diplomatic representation in Moscow intends to increase Russian tourism from 2000 to 5000 people in the next few years, and in order to speedily achieve this, it has established an Ethiopian club, which includes over 30 domestic tour operators, Amha Hailegeorgis, third secretary at the Ethiopian embassy in Moscow told APA on Monday. In addition, the Ethiopian government has set aside funds for free press tours, he informed.

“Currently, more than 30 Russian tour operators have expressed interest in promoting Ethiopia in the Russian travel market. And ten players have already become members of the club,” Hailegeorgis said.

Hailegeorgis added that about 2000 Russian tourists visit Ethiopia each year and he expected the number would increase to 5000 in the coming years.

“For comparison with other African countries widely promoted in the Russian tourism market, annual tourism is only 3000 to Kenya and about 5000 to South Africa, which includes business travel,” said Marina Katkova, general director of the travel company Kilimanjaro.

However, Katkova noted the activity of the Ethiopian side, which can really stimulate demand for Ethiopia. This year Kilimanjaro already organised several promotional tours, which, for Africa, is quite unusual.

“The tourism potential of the country is huge, because there are a huge number of attractions. Moreover, most of the population is orthodox Christian, which is certainly close to us,” added Katkova.

The Ethiopian embassy in Moscow, together with the Ethiopian Tourism Board, have already confirmed their participation in the forthcoming MITT 2010 exhibition in Moscow, with an enlarged stand and 12 exhibiting companies.

source: APA