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Ethiopia: Bringing More Cities to Conference Tourism
For a country that is rich in various types of tourist attractions like ethnic and religious diversity, tangible and intangible heritages as well as natural sceneries tourism plays a significant role in the economy. Apart from these factors conference tourism also contributes a great deal in attracting more visitors both to the conferences as well as to the rest of the attractions.
Mainly precipitated by the existence of continental and regional organizations like African Union, UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) ... conference tourism is showing a remarkable growth as a kernel of tourism industry. Especially Addis Ababa very often becomes very busy hosting various international conferences every year which is adding its growth as well as importance as an ideal venue for such events.
But the nation has still a long way to go to bring more cities to the conference tourism industry. Though some cities like Bahir dar, Adama, Bishoftu and Mekelle have started hosting conferences, they need further assistance in handling the events with better efficiency and standard so that they can continue hosting more such events and raise their benefits.
According to Gezahegne Abate, Public and International Relations Director with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Ministry is working on expanding hotels and museums in order to create an opportunity for different cities outside Addis to host conference tourism. Collaborating with concerned bodies, governmental and non- governmental organizations and business owners, the ministry is supervising hotels to ensure the existence of suitable conference facilities. For this end the Ministry is implementing a standard which requires hotels to fulfill state of the art hotel facilities like restaurant, bar, security, and parking lots , among others.