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October 24, 2019

Ethiopia records biggest growth of Travel & Tourism in the world


Ethiopia’s Travel & Tourism economy grew by 48.6% in 2018, the largest of any country in the world, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) annual review of the economic impact and social importance of the sector released today.

In 2018, Travel & Tourism contributed BIRR202 billion US$7.4 billion to the country’s economy, an increase of BIRR59 billion(US$2.2bn) on 2017. The sector now represents 9.4% of Ethiopia’s total economy.


The WTTC research which compares the Travel & Tourism sector across 185 countries, shows that in 2018 the Ethiopian Travel & Tourism sector:

• Significantly outpaced the global growth rate of 3.9%, the African growth rate of 5.6%
• Supported 2.2 million jobs, or 8.3% of total employment
• Was primarily driven by leisure travelers: 79% of the Travel & Tourism spending was generated by leisure visitors and 21% from business travelers
• Is strongly weighted towards international travel: 77% of the Travel & Tourism spending came from international travelers and 23% from domestic travel

Commenting on the numbers, Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO said: “Ethiopia’s Travel & Tourism boom was one of the great success stories of 2018. It has exceeded our sector’s global and regional comparisons to record the highest level of growth of any country in 2018. This has been driven by the very strong performance of aviation in the country and the development of Addis Ababa as a dynamic and growing regional hub.

“Travel & Tourism in Ethiopia now accounts for one in every eleven dollars in the entire economy and one in 12 of all jobs. I would like to acknowledge the work of the Ethiopian Government, under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and the country’s commitment to the power of Travel & Tourism to drive economic growth, job creation and social enhancement.”

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