ADDIS ABABA, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopian immigration authorities and Ethiopian Airlines have launched an e-visa service for international visitors, the airlines announced on Friday.
The newly introduced online visa application and issuance, effective from June 1, helps international visitors from across the globe with their online visa application process on a single webpage, where applicants apply, pay and secure their entry visa online, Ethiopian Airlines said in a statement.
Once the online application is approved, applicants will receive an email authorizing them to travel to Ethiopia and they will get their passport stamped with the visa upon arrival in Addis Ababa.
"Ethiopia, the oldest independent civilization in Africa and the world, is endowed with historical places, natural beauty, colorful and diverse cultural activities and various endemic wild animals which are of great interest to international tourists," said Tewolde Gebremariam, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO.
"This project is part of a new national initiative to transform the tourism sector in the country. The full commencement of the online visa application and issuance system will promote tourism, trade and investment in Ethiopia," he said.
Ethiopia generated 3.5 billion U.S. dollars from tourism in 2017, with Chinese tourists contributing 170 million U.S. dollars during the period.
Chinese tourists to Ethiopia were the third largest tourist group in Ethiopia in 2017, only surpassed in numbers by U.S. and British tourists.