Ethiopia, a small African country hold nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and archaeological history dates back to first humans in this country, which is certainly a plus point for the tourism industry. In the last one decade, the country has witnessed a surge of tourism, tourists love to visit unexplored mountains, national parks and other parts of the country. However, in the recent months, the tourism industry has collapsed due to continuous violent anti-government protests all across the nation.
Already the US and UK, both countries have warned their citizens against traveling to Ethiopia. Many tour operators like Saga, Cox 7 Kings and Kuoni have cancelled their trips to the country. Most of the affected areas are Amhara and Oromia where it is seen a growing unrest, mostly in the form of violent protests. Recently, police has opened fired against protestors and killed many.
“The state of emergency and FCO travel advisory has taken a heavy toll on bookings for the next six months,” said Nigel Nicoll of the African Travel and Tourism Association (Atta).
Surprisingly, in 2015 the European Council on Tourism and Trade named the country the world’s best tourist place. Incidentally, Lonely Planet recently has ranked the nation as the best tourist destination among the famous in 2017. Ethiopia economy has got a huge boost with tourism industry, and in 2016, it was expected to surpass a million mark. But the violent protests and growing unrest casts a shadow on the glorifying testimonials.
The tourism industry of Ethiopia is hoping that the state of emergency will soon end. Some tour companies say this is short-lived but it is seemingly improbable. The tour advisors strongly suggest that tourists should be involved in any incident. Travel insurance companies have also said that it wouldn’t be covered by companies if the insurers are involved in the incident.