Ethiopia: WTO Protocol Helps Tourism Sector Recovery

ADDIS ABABA-The World Tourism Organization (WTO) formulated a new and safe travel protocol to help tourism sector across the globe revive and reopen tourist destination areas as the pandemic continues.

The protocol also recommends that hotel services should be digitalized, or employ electronics to avoid tourists’ hand touching during their stay and have basic things they need such as attraction, accommodation, and accessibility in destination areas.

The tourism sector is one of the highly hit and devastatingly affected sectors especially over the last five months following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The protocol obliges hotels, tour operators and car ride service to disinfect their property so as to provide tourists with safe and reliable services in due course of traveling, visiting and taking a rest during their stay. Advisor to the State Minister of Culture and Tourism , Yisfalign Habte told The Ethiopian Herald that the protocols comprise two major components: travel component and tourism component.

“Flight travel component is transportation via Ethiopian Airlines. This fundamentally aims at keeping the safety of tourists coming to Ethiopia and scaling up their wellbeing ranging from landing on Ethiopia’s soil to returning to their country without any negative effect in relation to the pandemic,” he stressed. He further elucidated that, “We have adapted the WTO that formulated protocol which is passed to world countries and are doing our level best to make it effective.

Hence, a range of activities with regard to the tourism sector like trade, health and agriculture continue being operational despite the impact of the pandemic in the country.”

As to Yisfalign, the office has helped tourists get safe and healthy traveling places from airline to hotels as is has launched Certifying drivers and hotels in related to hygiene and sanitation. It has provided hotels and tourism related activities operators with paper contact free short term trainings centering the new protocol; after that they would be granted with the certificates to work on in tourism related deeds in the country. He added the protocol is expected to be effective as of October 2020 after hotel related service providers with tourist-oriented trainings.

Attraction sites are well eyed at to practically put the new protocol into place. Cash transaction should also be well facilitated incorporating ATM and other related services for clients. “The protocol is developed and done by the ministry of culture and tourism along with other stallholders and it would be effective after being ratified by the Council of Ministers.

Hotels are especially advised to use this opportunity because digital services for tourists and clients in their daily activities help them bring about changes in long run,” he opined.