Ethiopia Undertaking Enormous Activities to Develop, Preserve and Promote Tourist Attractions: Ministry of Tourism

The Ministry of Tourism stated that enormous activities are being carried out to develop, preserve, and promote Ethiopia’s tourist attractions.

A permanent exhibition under the theme “Lalibela Carving Faith” showcasing the archaeology and virtual reality of Lalibela Churches was opened in the historical town yesterday.

Tourism State Minister Sileshi Girma on the occasion said works on historical heritages of tourist attraction sites are being carried with a view to adding values and boost the competitive and inclusive social benefits of tourist destination.

Hundreds of thousands of people visited Lalibela virtual reality exhibition which was opened at Entoto Park and similar fair has been opened in Lalibela, he recalled.

Noting that special attention has been given to the development and protection of world heritage sites inscribed by UNESCO, Sileshi stated the protection of Lalibela and enhancing its tourist destination value are underway.

The work of developing, protecting, and promoting attractions sites of Ethiopia are being carried out on a large scale, Sileshi said, pointing out the “Dine For a Nation” project, the renovation of Gondar Fasil and Jimma Abajfar palaces as examples.

In hotel and catering industries, training and capacity building activities are being carried out to provide quality service delivery to tourists , he said.

The Lalibela Sustainable Project is also under implementation by the support of the French Government, he said, adding the project is aimed at extending the stay of visitors by developing tour packages thereby making Lalibela competitive tourist destination and provide benefits to the community.

The state minister called for extension phase of the sustainable Project as it will end in just a year.

Ethiopian Heritage Authority, Deputy Director, Hiwet Hailu said heritage has a unique role as a source of information and income as well as recorded history, to understand nature and the environment.

According to Hiwet, works are being carried out with stakeholders to keep heritages as historical evidence, pass on to posterity, protect them from damage and enhance their utilization for research and development and socio-economic benefits.

The implementation of sustainable project of Lalibela, being carried out in 22 priority areas with the support of French Development Agency(AFD) is also well underway, she said.

According to her, Lalibela permanent exhibition will create a great opportunity to promote Ethiopia and extend visitors’ stay and it will be opened in other areas.

Stressing that preserving and caring for heritage is the duty of citizenship, she said the restoration and maintenance of the Lalibela churches and the temporary shelter of the relics will be done cautiously.

Representing French Embassy in Ethiopia, Cultural Counselor, Sophie Makame on her part said the friendship and cooperation between Ethiopia and France that lasted for over a century has given priority in the field of historical diplomacy and in this regard, it is accomplishing tangible works.

She noted that the Lalibela Sustainable Project being underway, the renovation of the National Palace and National Museum are the initiatives of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President of France, Emmanuel Macron.

As Lalibela is not only historical heritage, but it is also a resource, which provides of benefit to the community, she said, adding that efforts are being made to ensure the continuity of the heritage by combining capabilities of local and foreign experts.

Makame recalled that preserving and caring for Lalibela heritage and passing it on to the next generation is a shared responsibility, and in this regard, France is contributing its share.

She further stated that the implementation of the sustainable project and the permanent exhibition of Lalibela will enhance historical understanding of Ethiopian and international visitors by retrieving historical and spiritual aspects, and it will also be the basis for building a future database, fostering inclusive development for the local community.

As Ethio-French Cooperation, it is our collective responsibility to preserve and protect Ethiopia’s ancient wonders and world heritages. And we have to discharge our responsibility so that the next generation will get its heritages and history preserved. The wonders of rock-hewn churches of Lalibela are the wealth of the country and the world, apart from the city.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency