Traveling to Ethiopia has taken a much easier turn since 2017, when the Ethiopia electronic visa program was introduced for the first time. The new electronic visa system made obtaining a permit to enter the country quick and easy for international travelers.
Eligible foreigners can apply for a visa for Ethiopia entirely online, all they need is access to a reliable internet connection and to a device to go online. After filling out the application form and attaching relevant documents, they will receive their approved Ethiopian visa via email. This removes the need to visit an Ethiopian embassy or consulate in person in order to get a tourist visa.
Intended to facilitate border check and encourage international tourism, the Ethiopian eVisa system was a success and the country has seen a boost in the number of foreign visitors choosing Ethiopia as their holiday destination.
How Many Tourists Visit Ethiopia Annually?
The number of foreign tourists visiting Ethiopia in the year 2016-2017 was reported to be 871,000, an impressive surge from previous years. Yet the Ethiopian Ministry of Tourism and Culture expects this to increase even further and predicts that there will be 2.5 million arrivals per year by 2020.
In 2018, the Ethiopian Travel and Tourism economy grew by 48.6%. This is impressive growth — in fact, the largest in the world according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) whose annual review calculates the financial and social impact of tourism.
The improvement in the travel experience caused by the new eVisa played a big role in this surge. Speaking in Accra, Ethiopian Airlines stated that more than 200,000 tourists used the eVisa system to obtain a travel authorization.
Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebre Mariam commented: “The milestone in the number of travelers who visited Ethiopia through the e-visa service comes as good news to all of us in the tourism and travel industry.”
He continued: “The milestone is indicative of the fact that the number of visitors who use the digitized service is on the rise. This will bring more benefits to Ethiopia in terms of facilitating travel and promoting tourism, trade, and investment to the country.”
How Long Does the Ethiopian Evisa take?
Foreign nationals of a great number of countries can apply for the eVisa. The visa requirements are easy to understand and designed to make the process smooth and fast. Completing a eVisa application for Ethiopia only takes minutes.
Once the application is submitted, the Ethiopian authorities will assess the request within hours. The applicant will then find their visa in their inbox at the email address provided in the application form. In rare cases, some travelers may experience delays — this usually happens when there is missing information in their online form or the Ethiopian authorities require further documentation due to the applicant’s specific circumstances.
What Is Ethiopia Famous for?
There are countless reasons why one should consider Ethiopia as their next destination. With a total of 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Ethiopia is a land of great archaeological interest that will make for unforgettable memories for all those who enjoy cultural traveling.
Ethiopia is also ideal for those who love nature. Its breath-taking landscapes offer stark contrast that are hard to find elsewhere, from the arid flatlands of Omo Valley to the peaks of the Simien Mountains. In fact, more than 70% of Africa’s mountains are in Ethiopia, a paradise for hikers and those who enjoy active holidays.
It’s a fact well known that Africa is one of the richest continents in the world for biodiversity. In Ethiopia, you’ll be able to observe rare animals in the wild — from the Gelada baboon to the Ethiopian wolf and over 850 bird species.
But spending time outdoors and learning about the past is not the only reason why foreigners travel to Ethiopia. The country offers unique volunteer opportunities for travelers who wish to use their spare time to give back to society. Whether you’re attracted by manual work or can help in the field of literacy and education, you can lend a hand and live an experience that will enrich both your life and that of the community you visit.