Ethiopian Tourism Development Policy (2009) and its Implementation፡ Critical Evaluation Using PCI Method

Ethiopian Tourism Development Policy (2009) and its Implementation Critical Evaluation Using PCI Method

*Haimanot Asmamaw Mihiretu,

Abstract

In recent years, the Ethiopian government has been drawing increasing numbers of new initiatives to enhance the countries tourism industry further. Amongst, the 2009 Ethiopian Tourism policy is the one. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the Ethiopian tourism development policy and its implementation as well as recommend for further improvement. Specifically, the study focuses on assessing implementation of the policy principles and objectives as intended or not using Principle Criteria Indicator (PCI) method. Methodologically, the PCI is used and Primary Data were collected from observation and from purposefully selected tourism experts’ interview. Secondary data is further gathered from literature review and important empirical and report documents. Accordingly, the findings of the study revealed that the formulation of the policy process is strongly coherent with formulation procedures. Likely, there was prior investigation of tourism status and major and influential stockholders identification and participation. Having the ministerial committee, clear objective and principles are set, serious problems of the industry in the country has identified and clearly expresses the responsibilities and roles of each stake holders in the industry. Needless to say, the policy is unique from other policies of the country by clearly citing the source of finance for the implementation of the policy. Likely, the PCI result indicated that tourism in Ethiopia currently generates about US$2.9 billion annually, close to a million jobs; directly 4.1% and indirectly 9.8 % and about 4.5% of GDP (WTTC, 2015) where the policy is playing the greatest part of the output. It’s also found significant for cultural pluralism since the largest number of tourists (42.89%) are motivated to see the live culture of the society. Conversely, the finding shows one critical limitation where it’s shortsighted to integrate with the countries prior climate resilient green development strategy of country. In addition, the level of the roles played by stakeholder for the tourism development is found weak as well the level of qualified skill man power is not to the extent expected though the number of training institutions are growing for the later. Thus, the study recommends that the tourism policy makers under the government shall undergo policy review and trace the policy in line with the green development plan. Likely, the policy review had better indicate implementation strategy in creating platform for stakeholders’ engagement and skilled man power production.

Key Words: Ethiopian tourism development policy, Principle-Criteria-Indicator method

  1. Introduction

Worthwhile, according to studies conducted by the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) (EIF, 2012), tourism has been identified as a priority sector for development in 90 per cent of Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Other studies also have found out that tourism is becoming a significant industry for many LDCs with a direct link to poverty eradication (Francis, 2012).

Likely, tourism is also a growing industry in Ethiopia and nearly a million of tourists are flocking to experience Ethiopian wonders last year. They are visiting the contrasting Ethiopian tourism resources which include both natural and manmade attractions. In the first half of the 2013-2014 Ethiopian budget years, the Ethiopian Ministry of Culture and Tourism reported that the number of tourists showed an increase of 36% over the same period of the previous year. Following these achievements, by the unanimous vote of the representatives of 28 countries on the General Assembly of the European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) Ethiopia was designated as the World Finest supreme Tourist Destination for 2015 and as the Favorite Cultural Destination in 2015 by European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT).

In recent years, the Ethiopian government has been drawing increasing numbers of new initiatives and proposals to enhance the countries tourism industry further. Among these, though it’s very late, the tourism Commission was upgraded to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MoCT) in 2005 and the 2009 national tourism development policy can be aforementioned and has a paramount important for the future destiny of the Ethiopian tourism Industry.

In line with this, Ethiopian tourism development policy (2009) has tried to point out the importance of the industry, untapped potentials, extended limitations and challenges as well as possible solution. By doing so, the government has established different institutions for implementing the development strategies. However, the policy evaluation here pointed out that the policy needs further enforcement tools, capacity building activities and integration of the tourism industry with the countries goal of creating climate resilient green economy development.

Valuably, this study is targeted to evaluate the tourism development policy of Ethiopian and its year’s implementation. This is because of the fact that the tourism policy implementation is not yet studied in detail though it has been working for the last eight years.

2. Concise Overview of Ethiopian Tourism Development

Ethiopia is an ancient country with remarkably rich cultural and natural tourist attractions. A case in point, the country has registered Nine UNESCO registered World Heritages which is the highest number in Africa. Moreover, Ethiopia is a land endowed with immense biodiversity and live culture. Hence, according to the stated vision of the tourism industry of the country the vision is “Making Ethiopia among the top five tourist destinations in Africa by 2020”. Likewise the mission is to develop Ethiopian tourism so as to maximize its contribution to the country’s economic development through diversified product developments and aggressive marketing mechanisms by ensuring quality services and facilities with sustainable tourism development operational programs (The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia-sustainable tourism master plan (2015 – 2025), 2014).

Despite this fact, the number of tourist arrivals and revenue generated is not up to the value of the attractions resulted from different reasons like, infrastructure, image of the country, lack of policy and strategy for long time and lack of promotions. However, since 2005 in particular, the number of travelers to Ethiopia is increasing following improvements in infra-structure, relative peace of the region and the investments in the industry.

 

Revenue generated from tourism in USD, WTO, 2013

  1. Purpose and Objectives of the Policy Evaluation

The purpose of this study is to assess the Ethiopian tourism development policy, its implementation and gear it towards its further betterment.

This policy evaluation is targeted to:

  • Assess whether the policy is based on the countries realities or not
  • Identify the missing elements of the policy
  • Assess implementation of the major principles in the policy
  • Recommend the prior future review areas of the policy
  1. Why Tourism Polices are Tiresome but Critical?

The multi-sectoral nature of tourism and its incorporation of local norms and values (where there is no clear answer) make the development of tourism policy a complex matter ((Rittel & Weber, 1973). Many government departments such as finance, immigration, health, education and environment (to name but a few) can have an influence on how tourism policies are developed. Furthermore, tourism requires government cooperation in, for example, bilateral airline negotiations, decisions about provision of facilities and services, interactions with other sectors, use of publicly ‘owned’ resources such as national parks as attractions, the issuing of tourist visas and in the funding of marketing of particular destinations (Ahmed & Krohn, 1990).

It is only national governments which can negotiate and make agreements with other governments on issues such as immigration procedures or flying over and landing on national territory (Elliott, 1997). Therefore, in order to facilitate the process of policy making Ethiopia has established Ministry of Tourism which is charged with co-coordinating all the complex process of tourism policy, policy enforcement, monitoring and Evaluations involving the different stakeholders and other government institutions.

The policies are usually concerned to development of tourism as an instrument of economic policy (De Kadt, 1979); as a tool developing countries has been a focus of research in tourism studies since the 1970s (Hall, 2007). This is because it creation of jobs, develop backward linkages with agriculture and other economic sectors, create opportunities for young people and women, encourage local entrepreneurial activity, and improve the quality of life of the poor through funding basic utilities, training and education (de Kadt, 1979).

Tourism related activities can either impact positively or negatively on the environment in which they take place. On the positive side, growth in tourism can be a catalyst for improving the environmental quality, conserving the natural environment and cultural heritage because of the expectations and demands from tourists for an intact environment. Irrespective of the notation “tourism is smokeless industry, if not properly managed tourism may compete for scarce resources (land), cause degradation of the physical environment, contribute to local air pollution and may put considerable pressures on local communities.

  1. Methodology

In this policy implementation analysis, the Principle Criteria Indicator (PCI) method is used to explain the status and implementation of Ethiopian tourism development policy. CPI comprises principles (fundamental laws or truths, expressing a core concept), criteria (operational standards by which to judge the principles), and indicators are information to measure or describe observed trends (Prabhu et.al., 1996). In plain terms, principles are interpreted as the fundamental statements about a desired outcome. And criteria are standards that a thing is judged by. Whereas, indicators are the measurable states which allow to check the particular criterion has been met or not.

In this paper, the principles are directly drawn from the policy document which indicate how the tourism development policy is implemented efficiently and effectively in order to achieve the vision, to be one of five African tourism destinations. However, the criteria’s and indicators are extracted from the policy strategies and programs which have been discovered as it reflect compliance with the stated principles.

Coherent with the PCI approach, Literature review, document analysis and key informant interviews are used as a means to gather data for the policy implementation analysis. Literatures in particular similar case studies were reviewed. In respect to document analysis, renowned international tourism organizations like World tourism Organization (WTO) and World travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) statistical data’s are used and triangulated with the national tourism statistical data of Ethiopian tourism ministry. Three key informants are also used through purposeful selection from the ministry, private sector and the academia.

  1. Results and Discussions
  1. Policy Implementation process

Policy implementation can be considered part of the policy process, and requires the development of skills and competences (Henry & Jackson, 1996). There are a range of instruments to implement policy (Puppim de Oliveira, 2003) including government legislation, directives and guidance, fiscal and monetary measures and the creation of special bodies (Airey, 1983). Hence, government intervention is important in the regulation of tourist guiding in terms of licensing, certification, training, pay and benefits, marketing and conducting tours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Own illustration but after the extracts from Henry & Jackson, 1996 and Puppim de Oliveira, 2003.

Likely, Ethiopia has drawn and started to implement the Ethiopian Tourism development policy (ETDP) since 2009. The ETDP has stated that before the formulation of the policy, it’s understood that the participation of the different stakeholders has a paramount importance in tourism policy formulation. In line with this, after collecting and analyzing the existing country-wide tourism data, a tourism development framework has been prepared and sent to the relevant tourism related stakeholders for further discussion. Following the feedbacks acquired, a national conference was held and then brought about a draft tourism policy. At last, the tourism ministry management committee reviewed it and adopted by the council of ministers processed as presented below.

Figure 1: Major activities while formulating the Ethiopian Tourism Development Policy (2009)

According to interviewees, there was participation of the stakeholders is that it was the tourism and culture federal and regional states and others which assumed have direct relation with the industry are consulted. But the other sector like Energy, water, Environment, agriculture, the manufacturing, education and research institutes need to be equally consulted. This is because; tourism supply is highly dependent on the overall performance and coordination of these ministries. This can strengthen the policy to be dependable and evidence based.

Based on the evidences, the policy has outlined the serious barriers of the tourism development and designs the appropriate measures to be addressed. Though the issues are clearly addressed to the different stakeholders directly involved in the industry, there is still practical gap in the implementation of the policy due to lack of coordination and integration modalities. For instance, according to a survey conducted by the Ministry and the Ethiopian sustainable tourism project, World Bank in 2012, 34.26%, 20.56% and 10.23% of the tourists indicate that there is problem in infra-structure, hygiene and environmental protection and social problem (beggars) respectively. Hence, indirectly affecting segments of the industry don’t have the structural system to play their part in the implementation process.

In respect to the principles and objectives, the policy has clearly stipulated them with a time framed vision; seeing Ethiopia one of the five African tourism Destinations by 2020. In addition, the source of finance and the policy implementation barrier are generally identified. However, it lacks the roadmap on how it can be mobilized for the policy implementation with sense of accountability and transparency.

Any country has to established different functional institutions for the implementation and successful achievement of the intended policy objective. An institutional focuses on the organizational powers, rules, investment incentives and constraints that influence policy development and implementation (Dieke, 1993; Sofield, 1993). Consequently, following the tourism development policy, Ethiopia has established key tourism institutions. Amongst, the Tourism Transformation Council (ETC) and the Ethiopian Tourism Organization (ETO) are the fore mentioned. They have been launched with the objective of transforming the industry and based on the necessity to coordinate the activities of various stakeholders in the industry.

In particular, the Tourism Transformation Council was established with the mandate to raise the standards of the industry to a higher level. The Council is drawn from members of various institutions as well as prominent personalities. In addition, it’s designated to work on tourist infrastructures like renovation work on roads, telecom and others. As a result, the stock of hotels in Ethiopia has increased sharply over the last few years. While tourist accommodation is available as the major attraction, improvement as well as new construction is taking place. As a result, the sector have seen major progress, under the PASDEP, the GTP, and the three main national policies of the sector: the Cultural Policy (1995), the Wildlife Development Conservation and Utilization Policy and Strategy (2004), and the Tourism Development Policy, adopted by the Council of Ministers in August 2009. However, what a devastating failure in the policy is lack of integrating tourism in the green development strategy.

 

6.2 PCI Findings

Though the policy lacks green tourism and green economy integration as a principle, the principles in the Ethiopian tourism development policy embrace its socioeconomic, environmental and cultural values. These must be taken into consideration and see its contribution for the general green development plan of the country. Consequently, each Criterion and Indicator is an essential part of the whole, and all need to be met for the tourism development policy offset to meet the Standard.

Principle -1- Tourism Benefit as sign of Policy Implementation

In a way to attain the industry benefit, efforts have been made to realize goals set so as to develop the tourism sector. To this end, national tourism transformation council, tourism board and tourism organization have been established and have become functional. Marketing and promotional activities have been widely carried out to enable both domestic and foreign tourists visit the country’s tourist attraction areas under the Tourism Organization role. In order to improve service delivery related to tourism, supervision and certification activities have been undertaken as per the plan and this has helped improve service provision. Criteria have been developed to establish rankings for hotels across the country and accordingly 206 hotels have been graded in Addis Ababa and Oromia regional state. It was planned to increase the number of tourists to 1million and existing data shows that 780,000 tourists have visited the country. The tourism sector has contributed to foreign currency generation and employment creation.

As a result, tourism in Ethiopia currently generates about US$2.9 billion annually, close to a million jobs; directly 4.1% and indirectly 9.8 % and about 4.5% of GDP (WTTC, 2015). According to MoCT Tourism statistic Bulleten-2009-2012, the number of registered hotels from 426 units with 14,118 rooms in 2009 to 595 units with 19,998 rooms in 2012. In respect to the tour operators, the ministry indicated that there are 310 legally registered tour operators in the country employing 2500 employees. In general, the tourism industry is estimated to employ 700,000 employees (World Bank, 2012). According to World travel and tourism council data (WTTC) in 2007 tourism has created 9.8% of the overall employment opportunity. And it was in 2010 that tourism has created 4.1% direct tourism employment opportunity. Likely, Visitor exports generated ETB46 Billion (35.4% of total exports) in 2014.

 

 

Table 1: Principle -1- Tourism Benefit as sign of policy implementation

Principle

Criteria

Indicator

Measurement

Recommendation

  1. Tourism Benefit as sign of policy implementation

1-Tourist volume and value

1.1- Rate of growth and average length of stay

25%, MoCT, 2013.

 

13 nights, MoCT, 2013

Increase multiplying effect through supply chain management

2-Tourism Enterprise(s) Performance

2.1-Rate of investment in tourism

Its investment in 2014 was ETB12.5 Billion, or 3.7% of total investment. (WTTC, 2015).

 

310 tour operators, 595 Hotels with 19,998 rooms in 2012 (MoCT

Is growing rapidly but needs serious concern for quality service and standardization.

 

3 - Quantity and Quality of Employment

 

3.1-Direct Employment contribution

 

4.1%, or 700,000, (World Bank, 2013)

With quality problem

Quality Skill gap

 

3.2-Indirect employment

 

9.8%, (WTTC, 2012).

 

Increase Tourism Value Chain

 

According to a study in 2012 by MoCT and ESTDP, Tourists has rated tour operators based on language capabilities of the tour operators, trustworthiness, general customer handling and most importantly how knowledgeable they are about Ethiopian tourism products. Thus, they were ranked by 8.81 percent as excellent and 11.26 as very good and 10% good respectively. The majority (66.4%) indicated that they there is limitation in the application of the above performance indicators.

Principle-2-Stakeholders Engagement

At the phase of the policy inception, the stakeholders were invited to comment the draft policy. However, because of the multi-sectorial nature of the industry, each ministerial office, the private sector and international organizations need to complement on the policy exhaustively. It’s understood that the ministry is working to have strong links and creating cooperation and partnership among actors in different levels including woredas. What a good example is the establishment of Ethiopian Tourism Council in 2009 (ETC) and the office of tourism stakeholders at the federal level. However, this linkage lacks strategic guidelines, finance and the human resource to exercise the mandate.

Table 2: Principle-2-Stakeholders engagement

 

Principle

Criteria

Indicator

Measurement

Recommendation

2- Creating Partnership with stakeholders

1-Institutional arrangements for coordination and cooperation

 

Rate of information exchanges, meetings and their consensus

 

ETC and Stakeholders Office. But not functioning to the level expected.

Very low exchange

Government Commitment.

 

Coordination Modalities

scheduled meetings and conferences

2-The roles played by stakeholder for the tourism development

 

1-Provision of guidelines and monitory mechanisms by government

 

Weak Associations.

Ex- the low number of hotel star ratings.

Ex- Low level of synergy with other government body

Establishing guidelines and regulatory.

 

 

Principle-3- Its linkage with the country’s overall green development plan

Worthwhile, the policy has acknowledged that tourism industry is multi-sectoral and demands integration with the different policies and strategies. However, it only concentrates on agriculture, manufacturing industry, pluralism and democracy, economic diplomacy and image building as well as capacity building policies and strategies. However, it’s shortsighted to integrate it with the countries prior green development plan of country. The policy lacks the understanding that tourism is also practiced in naturally rich destinations. Obviously, the miss lead which let the policy makers not to do so is the traditional understanding that tourism is smokeless industry. However, in today’s tourism paradigm, literatures reviewed indicate that tourism has been resulting environmental degradation and has its share for climate change in general.

In respect to the cultural pluralism of the diversified society of Ethiopia and the world, tourism plays a great role for mutual peace respect of difference, and cultural protection. For example according to the Ethiopian international visitors exist survey in 2013, the largest number of tourists (42.89%) are motivated to see the live culture of the society, followed by nature and wild life (29.29%) and history 27.73% where the rest (0.4%) belongs to others. From this, it’s possible to understand that pluralism and peaceful eco-existence is promoted through tourism. Beside, its helpful for the protection of local culture for future generations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure: Motivation to travel to Ethiopia (MoCT, 2012-Tourist Exit Survey)

Table 3: Principle-3- Its linkage with the country’s overall green development plan

Principle

Criteria

Indicator

Measurement

Recommendation

-3-

Its linkage with the country’s overall green development plan

1- Environmental concern of the tourism and hotel operation

 

1.1-The number of responsible tour operators

 

Policy gap

 

Policy review and integrating with green development

 

1.2- The number of Eo-hotels

 

Policy gap

 

Policy review and integrating hotels with green development

 

2. The impact of tourism for Cultural Pluralism and peace

 

2.1-Percentage of residents who believe tourism is enhancing the local culture

 

Variable but positively accepted

 

Mainstreaming

tourism CLUB at local level

2.2- Percentage of cultural based tourists

 

43% live culture, 27% history

(MoCT, 2012)

Cultural teaching of tourists before they experience it.

 

 

According to Growth and Transformation Plan II (GTP II) (2015/16-2019/20), the cultural values of 5 nations and nationalities have been studied, published and distributed. 2 heritages were registered in the world cultural heritage sites and 5 heritages were recorded in UNESCO’s tentative cultural heritage centre. At national level, 323 immovable and 6863 movable heritages have been registered. It was also planned to collect 300,000 printed and non-printed data resources and 704,371 printed and non-printed data resources were collected by the end of the plan period. Besides, protection has been given to 85,221 information heritages.

Principle 4 -Implementation Capacity of the Industry

It is clear that there is huge skilled man power gap in the tourism industry. The policy itself identified it as a serious challenge for the industry (ETDP, 2009). In other words, human resources already deployed in the sector and those needed for new deployment are limited in terms of type, number and quality. Consequently, following the demand higher and middle level training institutions has started producing manpower. However, based on the observation and interviewee, the number and quality of the human skill they produce is questionable. For middle level training, there are public and private institutions which are trying to satisfy the demand.

Table 4: Principle 4-Implementation Capacity of the Industry

Principle

Criteria

Indicator

Measurement

Recommendation

-3- Implementation Capacity of the Sector

 

1-Production of skilled man power

 

1.1-Number and qualification of training institutions

 

Inadequate

(informant)

Government focus on resources – Labs and demonstrations

 

1.2- Number and qualification of trainees

 

Limited number with Skill gap

(Informant)

Long apprentices time and on job training

 

2.Customers satisfaction of industry operation

 

2.1-Percentage of satisfied visitors

(in 2012, 49% are satisfied, MoCT, 2013)

The private sector is encouraged by the tax free import

 

Integration of the public infrastructure with the tourism industry

 

2.2-Percentage of repeat in 5 years

(80.78%)

This is because of the image they have before. (Informants)

 

Image building and promotion

 

 

  1. Conclusion

The Ethiopian Ministry of Culture and Tourism is responsible for developing and promoting the country’s tourist products both locally and internationally by putting on ground the policy and strategy. The findings of the study revealed that the formulation of the policy process is strongly coherent with formulation procedures and tourism realities of the country. Likely, there was prior investigation of tourism status and major and influential stockholders identification and participation. Having the ministerial committee, clear objective and principles are set, serious problems of the industry in the country has identified and clearly expresses the responsibilities and roles of each stake holders in the industry. Needless to say, the policy is unique from other policies of the country by clearly citing the source of finance for the implementation of the policy. Likely, the PCI result indicated that tourism in Ethiopia currently generates about US$2.9 billion annually, close to a million jobs; directly 4.1% and indirectly 9.8 % and about 4.5% of GDP (WTTC, 2015) where the policy is playing the greatest part of the output. It’s also found significant for cultural pluralism since the largest numbers of tourists (42.89% and 27%) are motivated to see the live culture and history of the society. Conversely, the finding shows one critical limitation where it’s shortsighted to integrate with the countries prior climate resilient green development strategy of country.

Likely, the main result of the study indicated that the policy is implemented encouraging. Particularly important is the recognition that, in addition to providing a source of international exchange, the tourist sector can have a significant development impact through linkages with local communities. Also Government has clearly recognized the need to improve the competitiveness of the tourist sector and that improving the quality of tourism services is key to enabling Ethiopian tourism to compete in international markets and attract more tourists. The policy has clearly stipulated the principles as a guide for implementation strategy with a time framed vision; seeing Ethiopia one of the five African tourism Destinations by 2020. In addition, the source of finance and the policy implementation barrier are generally clearly identified.

Obviously designing tourism policy is very exhaustive and demands all the respective stakeholders say. However, the policy needs to see the modality of integrating tourism development with the country’s green development strategy. Since, the policy lacks this major issue of the country, its difficult to monitor the environmental impacts of tourism which has been resulting in inefficient energy use, waste management, and environmental pollution in general.

 

 

In respect to human skill development, the policy has identifies that there is limitation of human capacity in the industry and resulted the opening of hundreds of Middle scale institutions in the country. However, this study shows that the qualities of the graduates are still with gap though critical for the overall implementation of the policy.

8. Recommendations

The Ethiopian tourism development policy implementation evaluation indicated both strong and weak sides. It’s evident that the policy implementation process indicated clear objectives, identification of problems and financial sources as well as establishment of relevant institutions including the tourism transformation council headed by the premier. However, each respective stakeholder ought to exert great efforts to see Ethiopia one of the five African destinations by 2020 which is an ambitious one. Therefore, the study recommend that appropriate finance and structural adjustment to mainstream tourism in each sector is valuable to achieve the objectives of the policy.

The policy shall be reviewed periodically and indicate strategies how the tourism industry can be sustainable and link with other development lines and mechanisms on how it can be integrated with the overall growth and transformation plan. Consequently, platforms shall be designed to participate the different stakeholders based on their level of influence and importance being cognizant that tourism involves different parties directly and indirectly especially, the government, the private sector and local destination communities.

Furthermore, the study recommend that the tourism policy makers under the government shall undergo policy review and trace the policy in line with the climate resilient green development plan. Likely, the policy review had better indicate implementation strategy in creating conducive environment for skilled man power production and meet customers’ expectation in the tourism industry.

 

 

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