Ethiopian Tourism expects the growth to double by 2016
Source: Voyager’s World
Tadesse Tilahun, Regional Director-India, Ethiopian Tourism says India is a potential market for Ethiopia as the people enjoy travelling and the growing economy in an interview story with Irene Susan Eapen
The tourism and leisure market constitutes one of the largest travel segments from India and the traffic from India in these segments is steadily on the rise. With Europe and America markets becoming more and more expensive and India being a price sensitive market there has been a major shift of the leisure traveller to various African destinations like South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania.
The Indian market as a whole is very price conscious. However, there are niche markets especially related to leisure which are high end and to these price is not a concern, but service is. Unlike before due to the worldwide economy crisis, a large chunk of the business segment now travels economy.
Ethiopian Airlines has started selling Ethiopia as a tourist destination by opening a separate entity “Ethiopian Holidays” who take care of all arrangements for tourists. The Indian traveller can now travel to Ethiopia and all land arrangements, hotel stay with full board facility are arranged through ET Holidays. There are several newly opened resorts in Ethiopia that offer the discerning traveller with a local experience that includes the local cuisine and spa facilities which is quiet popular .This experience for the Indian traveller is different from the mere “Shopping expedition” trips that Indians are accustomed to. This is surely catching up with a niche market. We are already targeting tour companies to organize their journey via Addis Ababa so that the Indians can get the feel of a new destination en route other parts of the world.
Expected growth for 2015-2016
We are expecting the growth to double since we have commenced double daily operation out of Mumbai and also expecting the daily flights out of Delhi to be twice daily. India has a lot of potential since the economy is thriving and people enjoy travelling.
New destinations promoted
Some of the famous destinations promoted are South Omo Valley, Axum, Bale Mountains and the other tourist destinations are Lake Tana, Danakil Depression, Lalibela, Harar Blue Nile falls, Ras Dashen, Simien Mountains National Park.
We are in the process of appointing two to three local partners, who are amongst the TOP Leisure/MICE promoters in India who will represent Ethiopian Airlines in India and work closely with Ethiopian Holiday team at Addis Ababa to jointly promote not only Ethiopian tourism, but holidays to all African destinations using tailor made Ethiopian Holidays ground packages. Earlier this year, Ethiopian Airlines and Ethiopian embassy jointly launched Ethiopian Holidays in India. We have also recently appointed a professional PR agency to look after all our social media publicity.
Segments focused like culinary, wildlife, adventure
The wildlifesafari’s andadventure traffic is our main focus and they constitute a major chunk of tourism segment. The Ethiopian cuisine is worth exploring and is much appreciated in America and Canada where there are several Ethiopian Restaurants and will be well accepted if available in India.
Category of travellers like business or leisure
The labor, business and leisure are the main category of travellers to Africa. Besides these three categories, Sea Men & VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) constitute the other two categories of travellers.