Ethiopian Tourism Commission disclosed that over 15,000 tourists are in the country to visit one of Ethiopia’s colorful religious festival, Timkat (which translates to Epiphany), according to Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC). The number may not be a great number but seen from what the industry went through over the past few years, it means a lot.
EBC cited the Commission’s Deputy Director, Sertsefere Sebhat, to report that number of tourists trickling from different countries to attend the religious festival is increasing.
In Gonder, with its popular 16th century castle where the holiday is popular (pictured above), number of domestic and foreign tourists has increased significantly so much so Ethiopian Airlines made 17 fights in one day alone, according to the deputy director.
Tourists travel to Gonder mostly to witness Ketera, first day of epiphany during which the Ark of the Covenant is removed from churches and carried to designated water bodies in an elaborate procession.
Last year, the tourism sector was weakened due to security situation which contributed to foreign currency shortage in the country.
The reformist administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed seems to be giving special emphasis for the sector. During his visit to North America and Europe, he called up on Ethiopians to promote their culture to encourage tourists to visit Ethiopia.
Ethiopia has a huge untapped tourism resources in a range of areas.
Join the conversation. Like borkena on Facebook and get Ethiopian News updates regularly. As well, you may get Ethiopia News by following us on twitter @zborkena