The Ethiopia Tourism economy growth

Ethiopia records biggest growth in World: Ethiopia’s Travel and Tourism economy grew by 48.6% in 2018 – the largest of any country in the world – according to the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) annual review of the economic impact and social importance of the sector.

In 2018, Travel and Tourism contributed $7.4 billion to the country’s economy, an increase of $2.2 billion on 2017. The sector now represents 9.4% of Ethiopia’s total economy.

The Council’s research compares the Travel and Tourism sectors across 185 countries and shows that in 2018 in Ethiopia the sectors:

  • Significantly outpaced the global growth rate of 3.9%, the African growth rate of 5.6%
  • Supported 2.2 million jobs, or 8.3% total employment
  • Was primarily driven by leisure travellers: 79% of the spending was generated by leisure visitors and 21% from business travellers
  • Is strongly weighted towards international travel: 77% of spending came from international travellers and 23% from domestic

International Tourism Grows in Ethiopia

The number of foreign tourists visiting Ethiopia in the year 2016-2017 was reported to be 871,000, an impressive surge from previous years. Yet the Ethiopian Ministry of Tourism and Culture expects this to increase even further and predicts that there will be 2.5 million arrivals per year by 2020.

In 2018, the Ethiopian Travel and Tourism economy grew by 48.6%. This is impressive growth — in fact, the largest in the world according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) whose annual review calculates the financial and social impact of tourism.

The improvement in the travel experience caused by the new eVisa played a big role in this surge. Speaking in Accra, Ethiopian Airlines stated that more than 200,000 tourists used the eVisa system to obtain a travel authorization.

Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebre Mariam commented: “The milestone in the number of travelers who visited Ethiopia through the e-visa service comes as good news to all of us in the tourism and travel industry.”

Ethiopia visitors who use the digitized service


“The milestone is indicative of the fact that the number of visitors who use the digitized service is on the rise. This will bring more benefits to Ethiopia in terms of facilitating travel and promoting tourism, trade, and investment to the country.”

The Eligible foreigners

Eligible foreigners can apply for a visa for Ethiopia entirely online, all they need is access to a reliable internet connection and to a device to go online. After filling out the application form and attaching relevant documents, they will receive their approved Ethiopian visa via email. This removes the need to visit an Ethiopian embassy or consulate in person in order to get a tourist visa.

Ethiopia border check

Intended to facilitate border check and encourage international tourism, the Ethiopian eVisa system was a success and the country has seen a boost in the number of foreign visitors choosing Ethiopia as their holiday destination.

Travel and Tourism in Ethiopia

“Travel and Tourism in Ethiopia now accounts for one in every $11 in the entire economy and one in 12 of all jobs. I would like to acknowledge the country’s commitment to the power of Travel and Tourism to drive economic growth, job creation and social enhancement.”

Ethiopia Attractions, Historical Places, Parks, and Places to Visit

Ethiopia has 9 national parks. The protective parks are complemented with about 100 other national protective areas with different protective status. The Simien-national park belongs to the world nature heir of UNESCO.

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