The Ethiopian Travel Club or ETC, established under the auspices of the embassy to boost tourism

By Amha Hailegeorgis
August 25 2009

APA-Moscow (Russia) – The Ethiopian Travel Club or ETC, established under the auspices of the embassy to boost tourism, held its first review meeting bringing together more than 50 Russian tourism agencies and tour operators, APA learns here on Monday.

In May, the Ethiopian embassy purposefully created the ETC to encourage Russian operators to popularise Ethiopia’s historical and cultural destinations among Russian vacationers, to discuss problems mitigating against the tourism industry, to share useful data and vital information necessary for the promotion of the industry, and in the process to identify other investment opportunities, Amha Hailegeorgis, the third secretary at the Ethiopian embassy told APA after the gathering.

“I believe this will fortify our collaboration and we can complement each other in that respect by working together as one family to promote tourism. We know Ethiopia has everything to offer for Russian tourists and we only need to promote it more vigorously and consistently,” Hailegeorgis stressed.

Speaking at the gathering, Dr Teketel Forssido, the Ethiopian ambassador thanked the participants for their tremendous efforts and reminded that the Ethiopian government has adopted flexible policies that will allow Russian businessmen to invest in Ethiopia as well as Russian tourism operators to expand their businesses to the country.

Emerging from discussions, there is the high possibility that in the first half of 2010 the Ethiopian Airlines will begin its operations to Moscow which the participants have agreed will contribute to an increase in the flow of tourists to Ethiopia from Russia. Majority of the participants discussed tourism related projects and a few admirable reports were given at the meeting by Russian groups who have recently visited Ethiopia.

The ETC plans to create a website dedicated to Ethiopian holiday attractions, publish Ethiopian gudebooks in Russian language and to organise promotional tours more frequently and participate in future tourism exhibitions. KKK/…/APA