Lack of digital tourism promotion impedes growth of sector

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Lack of digital promotions in tourism sector of Ethiopia has impeded the growth of the sector, said Sileshi Girma, who is in charge of Infrastructure Development for Tourism Destination with rank of State Minister of Tourism.

Sileshi mentioned the experience of Kenya regarding the introduction of “My Africa” virtual reality competition for the development of nation’s tourism sector during the “Digital Disruption in Tourism” Forum held at Ethiopian Skylight Hotel on Monday.

He also explained the experience of South Africa that has been using “Tourism Satellite Account (TSA)”, which Ethiopia is not implemented so far.

TSA provides information and data on the economic position of the tourism industry.

Another problem that tourists suffer from is lack of online hotel check-ins.

Lack of finance and human resource in the field of digitalization, particularly in using photogrammetry, a virtual reality technology, have also been mentioned as another challenges in the sector.

Ethiopia could digitalize heritages to be visited by tourists and promote them easily, according to experts.

Sileshi stressed the need to have a tourism digital strategy to solve the problems.

Meanwhile, Myriam Said, Digital Advisor to the Prime Minister outlined the successes in Ethiopia digitalization process.

The launch of 5G service by Ethio Telecom is the big leap, she said.

National Bank of Ethiopia has drafted a bill that will allow foreign investors to offer mobile money services such as MPESA, which will be offered by Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC.

 “We don’t want to be isolated from the world,” said Sileshi, adding, “We should join the tourism digitalization process”.

“We have got a latecomer advantages than those countries implemented digitalization in tourism sector,” he further explained.

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