The United States Association of Tour Operators (USTOA) held its "out of country" meeting in 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The decision to hold the meeting in Ethiopia "came after realizing that Ethiopia was among the top ten emerging tourism destinations, and tourism has increased significantly," said Terry Dale, CEO of the Association.
The Associations remain in Ethiopia, which lasted a week, among other things, had an annual meeting focusing on the association's accomplishments for the first quarter of 2019, and set the direction for the rest of the months of the year. About 40 active members of the association attended the meeting, as they also hoped to assess the business potential in Ethiopia.
Members of the Association also discussed with local tour operators to explore ways to build partnerships. The Association's CEO applauded Ethiopia for being on the right path to tourism, noting that Ethiopia's industry now generates $ 7.4 billion and created two million job opportunities. Mr. Dale further noted: "The responsibility of tour operators is for them to go back to their organizations and share what they have experienced, and begin to create products; identify the hotel to use, the attraction they want to take part of the experience, how much it will cost and start marketing it. "
Ethiopia's Travel and Tourism Economy grew 46.8% in 2018, the highest in all countries in the world, according to the World Tour and Tourism Board's analysis of the economic impact and social importance of the sector.
"In this regard, we can be useful to tell the story of the country in the United States," added the Association's CEO.
Delegates from the Association met with Lensa Mekonnen, Ethiopia's Director General for Tourism, Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of the Ethiopian Airlines Group, and President of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde.
President Sahle-Work Zewde told the delegation that his government is doing its best to boost tourism in Ethiopia. The director general of Ethiopia Tourism, Lensa Mekonnen, in turn, noted that Ethiopia has the potential to be a favorite tourist destination for US citizens; while the CEO of the Ethiopian Airlines Group said it was a good opportunity to establish a partnership with the association since[Ethiopian is] planning to launch a campaign to promote Ethiopia as a tourist destination in the United States. "
Founded in 1972, USTOA is a professional non-profit professional association with the primary purpose of promoting integrity within the tourism industry.
Top Image: Association Delegates with President Sahle-Work
Sources: ENA, Fana BC
Image source: Fana BC