BY MESERET BEHAILU
ADDIS ABABA- Oromia Tourism Commission said that it has been working tirelessly to promote the State’s tourist attraction sites to both domestic and international visitors.
The Commissioner Lelise Dhugaa told The Ethiopian Herald that consolidated efforts are underway to encourage tourists to go and visit the historical and natural tourist attraction sites in Oromia State to exploit the untapped sector.
Lelise pointed out that the limited attention attached to the tourism industry coupled with skill, promotional tourism business and market related gaps contributed to the sector’s unsatisfactory performance. Thus, the nearby communities have not sufficiently benefited from the tourist attraction sites over years.
“As Oromia’s tourism potential is not adequately included in Ethiopia’s destination map, tourists have used it as a transit to get to neighboring areas or states for many years. This shows that the level of tourism promotion in the State has remained insufficient.”
She further highlighted that the Commission has been carrying on various activities since its establishment last year including conducting research to identify the state’s leading tourist attraction sites and potential areas. The commission also equipped its capacity with new and vibrant staff, held discussions with stakeholders and conducted extensive social media campaigns notably Visit Oromia, among others.
“Oromia shares a border with all states in the country, except Tigray and it is a good opportunity to promote and develop the market and proper utilization of resources and the state is a home to all kinds of landscapes and climates that will satisfy the diverse interests of tourists.”
Oromia is the land of tourism diversity and Lake Langano, Bale Mountain, Babile Elephant Sanctuary, birds cave in Borena and Keryus’ traditional living are among the major natural tourist attraction sites in the area, the Commissioner noted.
Whilst the commission secured 35 million Birr in last year, it plans to obtain five billion Birr in the coming five years and employ 500,000 people, it was learned.
The Ethiopian Herald July 11/2021