A tourist sits inside the Holy Trinity Church in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, Jan. 27, 2009. (Xinhua/Yu Yang)
ADDIS ABABA, April 27 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia recorded 169.6 million U.S. dollars in revenue from 45,307 Chinese tourists that visited the country in 2017, an Ethiopian official said on Thursday.
Chinese tourists are the largest group of tourists to Ethiopia. The 2017 Chinese tourists figures have shown a steady increase from 2016 numbers, which stood at 41,659.
Speaking to Xinhua, Gezahegn Abate, Public and International Relations Director at Ethiopia Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MoCT), said despite a steady increase in Chinese tourist numbers over the last several years, insufficient food and accommodation facilities are hampering further growth.
"MoCT is encouraging Chinese investment in Ethiopia's hospitality sector with a view to dramatically increasing the number of Chinese tourists," Abate said.
With a view to making tourism a major hard currency earner, Ethiopia is implementing incentives for entrepreneurs involved in the tourism and hospitality industry, including duty free arrangements for construction materials.
The national flag carrier Ethiopian airlines already flies to five destinations in China: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chengdu and Guangzhou and plans to start flights to Shenzhen in June.
MoCT hopes the increasing flight connection between Ethiopia and Chinese destinations will help sustain the steady increase of Chinese tourists to Ethiopia.