24 Jan 2024

Tigray Tourism on the road to recovery


Addis Standard


#Ethiopia: Against all odds: #Tigray’s tourist hotspots gradually roar back to life after a three-year hiatus


In the heart of the once-war-ravaged Tigray region, a remarkable transformation is taking place, defying all expectations. Just months after the #Pretoria Peace Agreement in November 2022, Tigray is experiencing a tourism revival that paints a picture of hope and optimism on the once-turbulent canvas. Atsbha Gebreegziabher, head of the Tigray Tourism Bureau, expressed astonishment at the sudden positive shift, stating, "Tourists are not only revisiting Tigray but are arriving in groups. This development surpasses our initial expectations and is unfolding within a remarkably brief period."

Data from the Tigray Tourism Bureau reveals that international visitors exploring the region have exceeded 1,000, while domestic tourists have surged to an impressive 78,000. The number of local visitors participating in cultural festivals and religious observances has surpassed two million.

Historically attracting 90,000 visitors annually, Tigray's tourism industry generated millions in revenue and provided employment opportunities. However, the war brought destruction to cultural heritage, with landmarks like the #Debre_Damo Monastery and #Al_Nejash Mosque suffering, and reports indicate a surge in ancient Ethiopian artifacts appearing for sale online, raising suspicions of theft during the conflict.

Despite the positive turn of events, challenges persist, including road restrictions imposed by neighboring regional states and damages to tourist sites and infrastructure. However, the upsurge in tourist activity is considered a significant milestone for the region, bringing hope for the revitalization of the tourism sector and economic recovery.

From addisstandard.com

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