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Ethiopian region looks to develop tourism

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-08-18 08:29
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In Oromia, Ethiopia's largest regional state, local and Chinese tourism experts are collaborating to promote hidden attractions to make the region worth visiting.

Lelise Dhugaa, Oromia's tourism commissioner, says a cross-cultural collaboration is gaining momentum as more Chinese tour operators and interpreters engage in the region's tourism sector.

"We are collaborating with Chinese tour operators and language experts to promote our tourist destinations and attract more Chinese tourists to Ethiopia, in particular to the Oromia region," Dhugaa says.

The Oromia Tourism Commission recently launched a website, which says "Visit Oromia-Google arts and culture", to promote the region's diverse land, cultures, traditions and long history. The website was launched during a Tourism and Technology Week organized by the Oromia Tourism Commission that aims to create a policy-discussion platform for tourism-related issues and promote the country's tourism destinations using digital technology.

"We are using a digital technology, the first of its kind in Ethiopia, to promote the nation's food, costumes and touristic destinations," Dhugaa says.

According to the commissioner, agreements have been reached with Chinese firms to develop tourism destinations and boost business-to-business relations as part of cementing cooperation in the tourism sector.

"We have also launched 'Visit Oromia' on Chinese social media platforms," Dhugaa says.

Dhugaa adds that Chinese tourists who visit the region for the first time would not face communication barriers as Chinese firms and interpreters will serve them.

Sileshi Girma, state minister of tourism in charge of developing tourism destinations in Ethiopia, says his office has identified China, Africa and the Middle East as core markets for tourism development in Ethiopia. Noting that Ethiopia's rich natural and historical tourist attractions are slightly promoted, Girma says the use of digital technology will be a game changer to promote the nation's unique tourism destinations. He says the Ethiopian government has established a partnership with its Chinese counterpart to develop the nation's tourism sector and that has increased the number of Chinese people showing interest in visiting the country and investing in the tourism and hospitality sector.

"China is becoming a core market. It is no longer a potential market because we have started receiving more clients from China. Hence, we also have Chinese language-speaking tour guides and restaurants in Addis Ababa and beyond," Girma says.

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