Addis Ababa, February 3, 2017 (FBC) - Over the years, tourism proved itself as one of the best green sectors supporting developing countries such as Ethiopia in their initiative to tackle poverty, unemployment and development setbacks.
Countries’ sustainable program towards tourism sector created new jobs, reduced poverty and increased overall revenue from the sector.
Globally, the lucrative industry generates over 3 billion US dollars daily. On the other hand, the industry’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) exceeds 5% and its annual turnover has been growing at a faster pace than GDP.
The increasing developing countries focus on tourism-supportive development, according to United Nations Commission for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) data. Progress of the sector made it a major employment generator creating for skilled and illiterate labor force.
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) reported that the industry currently provides over 220 million jobs and accounts for 8% of employment and about 10% of the global GDP.
The development of the tourism sector goes a long way growing other economic sectors along the way. As the sector grows, so will other sectors including infrastructure, electric power, and telecommunications.
For Ethiopia, the development of hotels remained to be the key driving force for the development of the travel and tourism sector supporting the Ethiopian Ministry of Culture and Tourism mission to collect 6 billion dollars annually, targeting over 2 million foreign and 15 million domestic tourists in the coming four years.
Although the travel warnings brought setback for the growing tourism industry in Ethiopia, the sector is picking itself from where it falls following travel warning lift from developed countries working on to keep its 10% annual sector growth.
Africa , being the second largest and the second most populous continent in the world, being home to over 1.1 billion people, it’s yet to use its tourism potential. However counties are recognizing the importance of tourism for economic growth not only attracting tourists from all over the world but also investors including big international brand hotels.
There lies a large untapped potential in African tourism market as the region also visit one another a lot less than other continents. However, this has shown a great improvement as the largest number of international travels takes place within visitor's own regions with about four out of five arrivals worldwide originating in the same continent, according to the latest World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) report.
Thus far, the tourism markets for international tourism have customarily been largely centralized in Europe, America, Asia and the Pacific. However, with increasing levels of disposable income, many developing countries have also shown fast growth over recent years, particularly in the markets of Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, UNWTO says.
Europe remained to be the world’s largest source of tourism, generating half of the world’s international arrivals, followed by Asia and the Pacific (24%), America (17%), the Middle East (3%) and Africa (3%), according to the same report.
The tourism sector heavily relies on social, political, economic, environmental and technological factors and it continued to be shaped by these factors. With Africa becoming a safe and peaceful continent it’s expected to grow even further in the future. International arrivals in Africa are expected to grow double the rate of the developed world growing by more than 4%. These is expected to flood the continent with visitors in the coming four years says the UNWTO report. Even better in 2030, 57% of international visitors are expected to come to developing world portraying the flourishing future of the continent.