File photo shows Chinese passengers wait for joining the special event held at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, Jan. 20, 2017. The Ethiopian Airlines held a special event for Chinese nationals returning home for the Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)
ADDIS ABABA, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia recorded 190 million U.S. dollars in revenue from 500,626 Chinese tourists that visited the country in 2018, an Ethiopian official said.
China is the third largest source of tourists visiting Ethiopia, only after the United States and Britain.
The number of Chinese tourists visiting Ethiopia in 2018 represented a surge of 11.7 percent from that of the previous year, at 45,5007.
Ethiopian Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MoCT) Public and International Relations Director Gezahegn Abate told Xinhua on Wednesday that better food and accommodation facilities will likely attract more Chinese visitors.
"MoCT is encouraging Chinese investment in Ethiopia's hospitality sector, with a view to dramatically increasing the number of Chinese tourists," Abate said.
"Ethiopia is also implementing incentives for entrepreneurs involved in the tourism and hospitality industry, including duty-free arrangements for construction materials," he said.
The national flag carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, now flies to five destinations in China: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chengdu and Guangzhou.
MoCT hopes that flights between Ethiopia and more Chinese destinations will help sustain the steady increase of Chinese tourists to the east African country.