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Members of Ethiopia’s Tourism Sector Hope the Tides are Turning for the Industry

Ethiopia’s tourism authorities say the industry lost $2 billion during the past two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in the Tigray region. With the November peace deal between the Ethiopian federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front moving forward, the Ministry of Tourism is ramping up efforts to revive tourism. The country’s Epiphany festival, known as Timkat in Amharic, is expected to attract thousands of Christians during its two-day celebration. Travel advisories — specifically from western Europe, where Abebe said a majority of his guests reside — deeply hurt his business. With the peace deal holding, the ministry is working on revamping the battered industry. This includes reinstating flights to Tigray region cities and opening up historic destinations like the Amhara town of Lalibela. Officials are also looking for more sources for tourism, such as countries in Africa and the Middle East.