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BusinessTravel Guide

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ETHIOPIA

Africa’s area of outstanding natural beauty


E T H I O P I A

ETHIOPIA

From stunning national parks and mountain ranges to an enormous array of cultural landmarks and traditions which survive to this day, Ethiopia is a gem of a destination Writer: Tom Wadlow | Project Manager: Joe Palliser

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pic landscapes, historical wonders and a severely underrated wildlife scene, Ethiopia is a destination which has it all. One of the world’s oldest countries, it is also the only African nation to escape the clutches of European colonial rule, evidenced in its array of monuments dedicated to a great many other faiths and powers which have imparted their influence.

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A nation brimming with culture, ancient customs and traditions from the likes of the Surmi, Afar, Mursi, Karo, Hamer, Nuer and Anuak all remain intact and are cause for a great many spectacular festivals. Ethiopia is also one of Africa’s most beautiful landmasses, housing the vertical extremes of the Simien and Bale mountains and the Danakil Depression, the lowest place on the continent. Couple this with an

abundance of wildlife, and the country is an ideal destination for those looking to explore the best of what the region has to offer in terms of the great outdoors. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, is among the safest places in Africa and is its fourth largest city. Home to some inspiring cuisine and thoughtprovoking museums, it is well worth a visit here to complement any ventures in Ethiopia’s natural landscape.

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E T H I O P I A

The Business End

FACTS & FIGURES ETHIOPIA’S ECONOMY HAS undergone marked changes over the decades, the communist Derg regime introducing nationalisation of all industries when it came to power in 1974. Some liberalisation progress has been made since the 1990s, but the contentious question of land ownership remains and has hindered the development of commercial agriculture. However, the country’s farming land remains its most promising resource despite the damaging impact of soil erosion, deforestation and overgrazing. Although agriculture contributes around half of Ethiopia’s GDP, the services sector is not far behind, generating approximately 40 percent of the nation’s income.

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A sizable proportion of this is derived from tourism, an industry which turned over $1.4 billion in the second half of 2018 according to the country’s Ministry of Culture. This is down on the $2.7 billion target, but nevertheless Ethiopia managed to welcome more than 380,000 tourists during the period in question. Among the initiatives brought in by the government to boost tourist arrivals include a more liberal visa regime, with the issuance of e-visas seen as a catalyst for more visitors. Indeed, Ethiopia’s Travel & Tourism economy grew by 48.6 percent through the whole of 2018, the largest of any country in the world, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s annual review of the economic impact and social importance of the sector.

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Capital: Area: Population (2018): GDP (2017): Currency: Time zone: Dialling code: Internet TLD:

Addis Ababa 1,063,652 km² 96,769,000 $77.3 billion birr East Africa Time +251 .et


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FOR THE TRAVEL ENTHUSIAST

ETHIOPIA TOURS AND TRAVELS An amazing travel experience into nature, history and culture. Ethio Afro Tours has been providing quality service for leisure seeking tourists and business visitors to Ethiopia and it is an experienced private tour and travel agency providing quality service. Staffed with a highly qualified team, Ethio Afro Tours specializes in coordinating tours for safaris, expeditions and birding throughout Ethiopia that are tailored to individuals or groups! Planning a vacation trip, that is unique and off the beaten track. Well there is no other unique place like Ethiopia, a country with diverse landscape, 2,000 years civilization, unique wild life, various cuisine and welcoming people. Visiting Ethiopia is lifelong dream for many people. If you ask around, it is most likely you will discover that others have the same interest in visiting Ethiopia as you do. Just imagine sharing an incredible vacation with friends or family while traveling through some of the most breathtaking nature and a land of contrasts. Ethiopia is Old, Old beyond all imagination. ‘Fair price, alwayss smiling, great service and hospitality. Please come and enjoy the spectacular sights Ethiopia has to offer-Afar, Lalibela, Simien Mountains,Tigray and more’

info@ethioafrotours.com www.ethioafrotours.com

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ETHIOPIA OFFERS BOUNDLESS opportunity to explore nature, and any visit to the country is not complete without a venture into Simien Mountains National Park in the north of the country. UNESCO-listed, it is one of Africa’s most stunning mountain ranges and perfect for those wanting a casual stroll or serious trek. One will also be spoiled by the abundance of wildlife on offer, from elephants and crocodiles to hyenas and a tremendous variety of birdlife. In terms of food, drink and entertainment, then Addis Ababa is a safe bet and where many visitors will set up basecamp for their stay. The city is awash with restaurants

covering all cuisines, but it is particularly worth looking out for local-inspired food here, which is characterised by hearty stews, barbequed beef and fresh fish. Addis Ababa is also home to many excellent museums, not least the National Museum of Ethiopia, which contains many precious local archaeological finds such as the fossilised remains of early hominids, the most famous being Lucy, the partial skeleton of a specimen of Australopithecus afarensis. The Ethnological Museum, Holy Trinity Cathedral and Meskel Square are also worth a visit, especially if the latter has an event on.

Simien Mountains National Park

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PHOTO BY RICHARDAL - OWN WORK, CC BY-SA 3.0

Out & About

National Museum of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Addis Ababa


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E T H I O P I A

Addis Ababa Hotel Owners Trade Sectoral Association THE ADDIS ABABA Hotel Owners Association (AHA) was established in 1997 as a non-profit under the name of Ethiopian Hotels and Restaurants Employers Association. As Lude Abiy, the organisation’s General Manager explains, “the founders’ initial vision was to establish an association that would support the industry with the highest quality services and resources available. “However, due to the enormous changes of the past decade, the association members felt the need for it to reform, anticipating and meeting the growing and changing needs of its members and the city. For this specific reason the association was rebranded in the year 2012 to Addis

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Ababa Hotels Owners Trade Sectoral Association.” Abiy went on to answer our questions about AHA and the wider tourism scene in the city. Africa Outlook (AfO): Since inception, how has the AHA developed and progressed in terms of its key objectives and the messages it tries to get across? Lude Abiy (LA): AHA has developed greatly since its inception. There are many developments that have been accomplished by AHA, the first being the fact we have greatly grown our membership base. The second major change is that we have started to work with government

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offices and other stakeholders to change policies which are not favouring the tourism sector, as well as fostering those that are promoting the sector. Thirdly, AHA has started to produce its own city hotel guide that shows the city capacity and its hotels. This enabled the association to promote members and the city throughout the world. AHA has also been offering training and workshops for members’ employees to develop the services and skills required to succeed. Further, we have created a platform/job fair and networking day that will be happening every year which enables member hotels to recruit qualified citizens who want to join the hospitality sector.


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AfO: How would you say Addis Ababa has developed in recent years as a business travel hub and what are the key reasons behind its growing appeal? LA: Addis Ababa has developed in recent years specifically in regard to the number of hotels in the city as well as global international brands. The number of rooms in the city has increased which means it is now possible for the city to host big conferences, expos and meetings. In addition, out of the 121 member hotels of the association, 95 of them have halls and function spaces to cater to business meetings and conferences. Among these 95, there is a total of 293 halls varying in size to facilitate any event, boosting over 47,000 square meters of space. In addition to this, big convention halls are under construction which will make the city more preferable for many event hosts.

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Tomoca coffee house, Yod Abyssinia restaurant and Baata restaurant are well worth a try.

AfO: What trends are transforming the tourism industry in Addis Ababaat present? How are you responding to these trends? LA: In my opinion the trends that are transforming the tourism industry in Addis Ababa at present are the growth AfO: Why, in your opinion, should of demand for a variety of services, someone visit Addis Ababa? and the attention of the government LA: In my opinion, Addis Ababa is a to the sector. great city for visitors in major ways. The Association is responding to Just to mention some: one – it has the trends by giving more support to these best weather throughout the year; services, ensuring they are delivered as two – it has hotels for everyone, from smoothly as possible. small independents to big international Further, the arrival of more new hotels; three – the city has many global international and local hotels fantastic international restaurants, in the city and the completion of traditional restaurants, souvenir the convention centres that are houses, museums, and historical being constructed are positive places; and four – it is one the safest developments, and will be followed cities in Africa. by an increased number of events and expos being hosted by the city of Addis AfO: Are there any specific Ababa. attractions, landmarks or places to eat and drink that you would AfO: Are there any plans or recommend? projects in the pipeline that you LA: I recommend the Emperor wish to highlight? Menelik II Palace-Entoto area, the LA: We have many projects in the National Museum, The Addis Ababa pipeline. Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, One is to organise a hospitality Merkato Market and Shero Meda industry job fair and networking traditional cloth market, among other event that is being held every year – places. this is an event that gives a platform In terms of places to eat and drink, for unemployed people to be hired

“I am very optimistic about the future of the tourism industry in Addis Ababa, especially when it comes to MICE tourism” in member hotels in the fields they are qualified in. A second project is producing a hotel guide every year that can promote member hotels and the city, while another project involves establishing a tourism academy that will produce many professional citizens in the sector. AfO: Are you optimistic about the future of the tourism industry in Addis Ababa? LA: I am very optimistic about the future of the tourism industry in Addis Ababa, especially when it comes to MICE tourism. Addis Ababa has all the potential to host big exhibitions, meetings and conferences. Currently the city has more than 11,000 rooms and the biggest airline in Africa which gives us a great opportunity to work on MICE tourism. Moreover, it has conference halls such as the UNECA and AU and a big convention hall development on the horizon.

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E T H I O P I A

Outlook Recommends “Ethiopia is like nowhere else on the planet, a beautiful country blessed with a peerless history, fabulous wildlife and some of Africa’s most soulful peoples” – Lonely Planet

TOUR OPERATORS

HOTELS

FOOD & DRINK

Tropic Air

Delano Hotel, Bahir Dar

Bait Al Mandi

Addis Regency Hotel

Yod Abyssinia

Agesha Tours

Capital Hotel and Spa

Abucci Restaurant

Ethio Afro Tours

Goha Hotel

2000 Habesha

Tropic Air, from its base at Nanyuki Airfield in the heart of Kenya, offers private flights and helicopter services. The company has a strong East African footprint and 28 years of experience in the industry, offering heli-services and pioneering heli-safaris throughout the region, including Ethiopia. A helicopter safari over Ethiopia is a highlight for any visitor, the trip exploring the medieval world of historical treasures and places of worship from above, as well as the high and low terrains found in the country.

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ETHIOder Tour and Travel Fax: (251-11)6631373 Tel: (251-11)6630363

www.ethioder.com

“Ethiopia - the best place to be…” explore it with ETHIODER TOUR AND TRAVEL.

NATIONAL PARKS

Simien Mountains National Park

T 251116630363 F:+251116631373 E logistics@ethioder.co | manager@ethioder.co

ZEIST LODGE is the first urban lodge in Addis Ababa CITY!

Mago National Park

“A LITTLE PARADISE IN A BIG CITY” comments from the guest’s side. T: +251 913 644 316 | +251 941 699 861 | +251 915 536 730 +251 939 509 105 | +251 116 262 639/42 E: belaynehzerihun1@gmail.com | info@zeistlodge.com

Omo National Park

www.zeistlodge.com

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E T H I O P I A

Transport Links

Bole International Airport

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Another popular means of exploring the country is by hiring a car with a driver, with costs starting at around $120 per day with anywhere between 50 and 75 kilometres offered for free before a charge kicks in. For travelling within cities, most operate a minibus network which is a

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PHOTO: PASCAL KOBEH

BOLE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT is Ethiopia’s only international air transit gateway, with airlines flying in and out of the country including Ethiopian Airlines, EgyptAir, Emirates, Kenya Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Sudan Airways, Turkish Airlines and Yemenia. Once in the country, there are many ways to get around including a comprehensive domestic air transport network. A solid long-distance bus network also covers much of Ethiopia, with new operators such as Selam Bus and Sky Bus offering a modern and comfortable service. Coupled with a growing network of paved roads, and travel by bus is becoming a more viable option for many visitors.

cheap and quick way of getting about, while taxis are another common mode of travel. It is also worth mentioning the opportunities on offer for cyclists, although rough terrain and roads make taking spare parts and repair kits essential.


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Landmark Attractions

Northern Stelae Field

Bet Giyorgis

“When you think of Lalibela, you’re thinking of Bet Giyorgis. Resting off on its own, St George’s Church is Lalibela’s masterpiece. Representing the apogee of the rock-hewn tradition, it’s the most visually perfect church of all” – Lonely Planet

“Amazingly, about 90 percent of the field hasn’t yet been dug, so no matter where you walk, there’s a good chance there’s an undiscovered tomb with untold treasures beneath” – Lonely Planet

Debre Damo

“Debre Damo is magnificent in terms of its location and extensive collection of priceless manuscripts that have remained intact until today. It has become a prominent monastic and educational centre for the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church” – Ethiopian Treasures

Bale Mountains National Park

“Located 400 kilometres southeast of Addis Ababa, Bale Mountains National Park contains a spectacularly diverse landscape. The high altitude, afromontane Sanetti Plateau rises to over 4,000 metres and includes the highest peak in the southern Ethiopia highlands” – balemountains.org

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BusinessTravel Guide joe.palliser@outlookpublishing.com

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jordan.levey@outlookpublishing.com

+44 (0)1603 959 668

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+44 (0)1603 959 669

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Profile for Outlook Publishing

Ethiopia business travel guide 2019  

Ethiopia business travel guide 2019 - Africa Outlook - Issue 71

Ethiopia business travel guide 2019  

Ethiopia business travel guide 2019 - Africa Outlook - Issue 71