Ethiopia aims to recover the dynamics of the tourism industry before the end of October, despite the growth of the COVID-19 cases in the country, where there are more than 80,000 registered infections so far.
Since last March, almost all hotels, tour operators, and facilities have stopped their services, a closure that caused the loss of a third of the sector’s average annual income during the 2019-2020 fiscal period, which ended on July 7th.
During this cycle, according to official reports, some 541,000 tourists visited the territory and this economic activity generated approximately $2.71 million.
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The Government grants low-interest loans to help the economy stay afloat during this difficult period
To help alleviate the challenges of the epidemiological situation, the government granted low-interest loans and promoted other incentives, Tourism General Director Sileshi Girma told local media.
However, he added, he decided to reopen the industry because extending the downtime would further damage it and affect the overall national economy. ”We will reopen based on the protocol established to help contain the spread of the coronavirus,” Girma said.
”It is essential,” he stressed, ”to protect the safety of travelers, so we are conducting training to ensure compliance with the required health measures.”
In his opinion, the inauguration of several destinations will make 2021 a good year for the sector, whose reopening requires the certification of the World Travel and Tourism Council to countries with standardized hygiene practices at a global level.
The number of COVID-19 infections is still on a growing trend in the country
The purpose of getting ready to receive tourists in mass, contrasts with the growth of respiratory ailments in the fourth nation in Africa and 52 in the world with the most detected infections.
Ethiopia has reached 80,003 infected people and according to data from Worldometer, a website that provides estimates and statistics in real time, it is also the second country with the most active cases and the third with the largest number of critical patients among African countries.
Although the number of infections is not growing by a thousand as it did in August and the number of patients identified is small compared to the clinical samples analyzed, the average daily increase is still considerable (618 last Monday, 566 the day before, for example).
So far, moreover, there are barely 1,321,910 documented laboratory tests in a state with at least 109.2 million inhabitants, according to estimates for 2018, or more than 113,166,000 citizens, according to recent surveys.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit every single country in the world, and Africa is no exception. Economies are struggling to stay afloat and governments are now trying to find a solution to revive the economic sector. Ethiopia is one of the African countries most affected by COVID-19 pandemic.
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First published in Prensa Latina, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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