By Samson Echenim
Adoption of e-visa can increase tourism and business travel traffic for any country as well as boost trade and investment in the country, says TewoldeGebreMariam, group chief executive officer, Ethiopian Airlines.
He therefore advocated e-visa for African countries which genuinely seek to improve tourism and foreign direct investment.
Using Ethiopia as an instance of a country that has adopted e-visa, GebreMariam said over 200,000 people from 217 countries visited Ethiopia since June 2017, when the e-Visa Service was introduced, stressing that the system is facilitating travel, promoting tourism, trade and investment in the country.
The Ethiopian Airlines boss described the introduction of e-Visa Service as good news to the two sectors of the economy, noting that with this development, Ethiopia has opened its doors for foreign visitors wider than ever before.
Backed by a dedicated round-the-clock customer support via email, the E-Visa Service enables travellers secure e-visa in less than six hours with a short turnaround time at the airport.Ever since, the e-visa service has redefined visitors’ travel experience, easing entry into the country with digitalised service accessible from any part of the world.
GebreMariam said, “The milestone in the number of travellers who visited Ethiopia through the e-visa service comes as good news to all of us in the tourism and travel industry.”
He continued, “The 200,000 milestone is indicative of the fact that the number of visitors, who use the digitalised service is on the rise. This will bring more benefits to Ethiopia in terms of facilitating travel and promoting tourism, trade and investment to the country.
“With the boom in the global Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) industry, the E-Visa Service gives Ethiopia an edge to reap the benefits the industry offers. The air connectivity Ethiopia enjoys as the hub of Ethiopian Airlines Group coupled with the mushrooming of hotels and lodgings in the country will further elevate Ethiopia as a preferred MICE hub.”
In the past few years, Ethiopia has taken significant strides towards making travel simple and seamless. Besides the e-visa Service, travellers flying Ethiopian also enjoy seamless and end-to-end service using the innovative mobile application of the airline.