City Parks Attracting Tourists, Boosting Economy

Addis Ababa, The Entoto, Unity, and Friendship parks in Addis Ababa are attracting tourists and boosting the economy as they offer a variety of attractions for both local and international visitors.

Entoto Park, one of the parks built as part of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s initiative to make the capital city more attractive for tourists and investors, has been attracting foreign visitors and benefiting the local economy.

The park, located in the Entoto Mountains, offers stunning views of the city and is home to a variety of hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, restaurants and cafes, a horseback riding area, an artificial lake, a go-kart track, a library, a cinema, and sports centers.

Addis Ababa Public Recreation Administration Corporation (AAPRAC) Chief Advisor, Girma Mengesha disclosed that at least 1,000 people visit the park every day, including 500-600 foreign tourists.

The AAPRAC is responsible for the management and maintenance of public parks and recreation facilities in Addis Ababa.

It is committed to making public parks and recreation facilities accessible to residents and visitors, and providing them with places to relax and enjoy nature, exercise, and socialize, Girma said.

Nigerian tourists Omowunmi Omoseyinfemi and Temitayo Ajilore, who are in Ethiopia for a conference, said they loved everything about the country, including the food, dance, traditional clothing, and the parks, including Entoto Park.

It is friendly and safe, said Omoseyinfemi. “People are very lovely and friendly here. Ethiopia needs to exploit its vast potential in tourism by advertising both for Africans and the rest of the world.”

Ajilore agreed saying that the visa process should be made easier for African tourists. “Visa response time should be faster.”

The American tourist, Aaliyah Nicholsson, who was visiting the park with her husband Surafel Dejene and their baby, said every time they are in Addis Ababa, they visit the place because it is family friendly and refreshing.

According to corporation chief advisor Girma, AAPRAC has made a number of improvements to Entoto Park, including new hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, restaurants and cafes, a horseback riding area, an artificial lake, a go-kart track, a library, a cinema, and sports centers.

“We are confident that the park will continue to attract foreign tourists and benefit the local economy for many years to come.”

As we add facility, the number of tourists is increasing. Therefore, we are on the final stage of building circus, 3 football fields, and amphitheater, he revealed.

Visitors are coming from all over the world mainly from China , Asia, and Europe.

Girma said that the city is expecting over a million local and international tourists to visit the parks of the city.

The economic benefits of Entoto Park are already being felt in the local community. Many people have been employed in the park’s restaurants and cafes, and there is a growing demand for tour guides and other tourism-related services.

The AAPRAC is confident that Entoto Park will continue to grow in popularity and become one of Ethiopia’s leading tourist destinations.

Unity and Friendship parks, two of the popular parks in Addis Ababa, attract many local and international tourists with their diverse attractions, including a zoo, aquarium, aviary, gardens, historical buildings, artificial lake, and water fountain lights, Unity Park Communication Head Getachew Beyene said.

According to him, Unity Park attracts an average of 1,000 visitors per day, while Friendship Park attracts an average of 1,800 to 2,000 visitors per day.

Most of the visitors are tourists from other countries who are interested in learning about Ethiopian culture and history.

American tourist Jeff Madison said that he was impressed with the designs of Unity and Friendship parks.

“The parks gave me a sense of Ethiopian history, past and present, and helped me to see animals, birds, and cultural aspects of the country. The parks gave me a deep sense of the richness and beauty of Ethiopia.”

Unity Park Communication Representative, Getachew Beyene said on his part the parks are two of the most popular parks in Addis Ababa.

Unity Park is a large urban park that was inaugurated in 2019. It is located on the grounds of the National Palace and features a variety of attractions, including a zoo, aquarium, aviary, gardens, and historical buildings.

Friendship Park, also known as Sheger Park, is a smaller park located next to Unity Park. It features an artificial lake, a square to gather, and also water fountain lights at nighttime. It also contains lots of flowers with diverse species of flora.

The Government of Ethiopia has been working on the development of the tourism sector through its Home Grown Economy Reform.

At present the government is promoting new tourism destinations with the view to enhancing revenue from the sector. The effort to renovate tourism sites and develop existing ones is being carried out in order to improve the tourist flow, according to ministry of Tourism.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency