Off the tourism map for decades, Ethiopia has become an accessible tourism destination in recent years. The government’s tourism promotion entity, the Ethiopian Tourism Organization, has mounted a campaign to publicize the country’s rich menu of historical, cultural and natural attractions. But the going has been tough.
Soon after the Ethiopian Tourism Organization got its campaign rolling, the Ebola crisis hit West Africa, and though the disease was always contained within a small area within West Africa, the panic generated by sensationalistic media coverage decimated the tourism industry across the continent of Africa.
In September 2014, the Ethiopian Tourism Organization joined forces with the National Tour Association (NTA) to sponsor a familiarization tour to show tour operators the reasons for visiting Ethiopia. The trip helped to generate some new tours to Ethiopia. But for tour operators trying to break into the market with a new-to-the-market African destination, it is hard to get attention.