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Ethiopian embassy streamlines visa process to boost tourism

Addis Ababa, June 19, 2023 (FBC) – Simplifying the visa application process has been a priority for the Ethiopian embassy in Qatar, aimed at attracting more visitors from the Middle East, ambassador Feisel Aliyi Abrahim has said.

Speaking to the media recently, the envoy explained the embassy introduced electronic visa arrangements, making it easy for tourists. While visas are available upon arrival for African citizens, citizens of other countries can apply online.

The streamlined process, he noted, ensures a quick turnaround time, with visas typically processed within a couple of hours to a maximum of three days.

To facilitate travel arrangements, Amb. Feisel said the embassy is working closely with Ethiopian Airlines, which offers comprehensive holiday packages for tourists, covering ticketing, electronic visa processing, hotel accommodations, and transport arrangements, among others.

“Ethiopian Airlines, with this package, is also partnering with very reliable and excellent tour operators and hotels in Ethiopia that have all facilities and logistics for the tourists,” the envoy said, stressing that promoting Ethiopia’s tourism sector extends to visitors from all over the world.

By showcasing Ethiopia’s tourism potential and offering convenient visa procedures, Abrahim said Ethiopia’s strategic location makes it an accessible destination for travelers seeking new experiences.

About the interest of visitors from Qatar and the region in visiting Ethiopia before the pandemic, the ambassador cited a significant demand due to not only affordable holiday packages but also a wide range of tourist attractions, including nine Unesco World Heritage sites, the ancient walled city of Harar, the Axumite Kingdom’s monuments, and natural wonders like the source of the Nile and the active volcano of Erta Ale.

With Eid al-Adha holiday approaching, the Ethiopian embassy expects an increase in visitors as evidenced by the growing number of visa applications. The Ambassador assured potential tourists that Ethiopia is a secure destination. He vouched for his country’s warm hospitality and the friendliness of the Ethiopian people, which contribute to a welcoming environment for visitors.

“Ethiopia is a very safe country especially when it comes to tourism. Most importantly, the hospitality of the people is a guarantee. People are very friendly, very helpful and very receptive”, the envoy said.

Recognising that Qatari tourists often overlook Ethiopia as a travel destination, Feisel underscored the country’s proximity to Qatar, with just a four-hour flight from Doha.

He noted that Ethiopian Airlines and Qatar Airways operate daily flights, making it convenient for Qatari travellers to plan short trips or weekend getaways to Ethiopia.

The ambassador said that Ethiopia also has pleasant weather year-round, diverse tourist attractions, and excellent facilities, making it an appealing destination.

To ensure a seamless travel experience, the embassy is actively partnering with tour operators and travel agents in Qatar. The goal, the envoy said, is to familiarise them with Ethiopia’s tourism offerings, encouraging them to include the country in their travel packages.

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