The Ethiopian Airline has begun issuing e-Visas to all African nationalities. The announcement was made by the airline manager, Tilahun Tadesse, at a seminar in Abuja.
He said: “We are focusing on e-Visas to all African countries. We used to have challenges of doing this due to immigration issues but thanks to our prime minister now we have arranged for all African countries to register for the visa online and get their visas on the spot at the airport."
“This has eased traveling issues. For example, in Nigeria, we have five destinations so it is not going to be a problem for us to arrange for the e-visa for our passengers,” he said.
Tadesse explained that passengers would be able to get the e-Visa at the same time they get their flight tickets. He said that there had previously been a delay because of payment issues but this issue been resolved. He said that passengers can pay using a credit card and there will be another solution for payment soon.
He said: “This visa can be applied for online and get your visa on the spot at our airports and it is for all African countries and this is a big boost for all our travel agencies. We have different visas, we have a tourist visa, we have a student visa and also business visa and all of these can be got online."
Revamping Ethiopian Tourism
The national tourism motto of Ethiopia has recently changed to 'The Land of Origins' from 'Thirteen Months of Sunshine'. Ethiopia is one of the continent's leaders in developing tourism and the new e-Visa and motto, are part of a much wider campaign to develop the industry.
"Tourism was on the back burner for a long time, the country was going through major changes and the government's priorities were health, education", said the CEO of the Ethiopian Tourism Organization (ETO).
He said that there were fundamental reasons why tourism infrastructure was not in place but the government decided in 2013 that tourism could generate jobs, income, and wealth just like any other economic sector.
Ethiopia has an incredible amount to offer visitors, including over 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and stunning landscapes. The country is now starting to reap the rewards of the policies implemented over recent years.
The country's rich wildlife is one of its main draws. There is an abundance of species including unique, indigenous mammals such as the Ethiopian wolf and the gelada baboon. Laka Tana, the Blue Nile, the Danakil Desert, Omo Valley, and the Gheralta Mountains provide spectacular scenery as well as varied habitats.
Interestingly, Ethiopia is the only African country that was not colonized. Addis Ababa, the capital city, is the headquarters of the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, which has helped to give the city an economic boost.