Income generation at the Afromontane cloud forests
Even though Ethiopia has not yet been discovered as a major holiday destination, the country has continued to record a positive growth in tourist arrivals over the past years and the government considers tourism to be one of the most important sources of income for the future. The number of international tourists is increasing every year. Furthermore, the initial situation in the Kafa Biosphere Reserve is promising for the successful development of ecotourism: Kafa not only attracts national and international visitors because of its various natural treasures like hot springs, rivers, rich wild and bird life, but also because of its historical and cultural values and of course its fame as the birthplace of the Coffee arabica.
A number of travel organisations already include tours to Kafa in their travel programs, in particular as a part of so called coffee tours.
During the preceding project, NABU and its partners EWNHS and the Kafa Zone Department of Culture and Tourism in Bonga have laid important foundations for the establishment of (eco)tourism in the Kafa Biosphere Reserve, for example an ecotourism and marketing concept for the Biosphere Reserve, the establishment of infrastructure for hikers such as trails, picnic areas and camping sites, observation towers and a community-based lodge with western standards. Media materials such as the Guide Book for Visitors, a poster, a leaflet for tour operators, stickers and a short movie have been developed.
But as tourism is very new to the remote region, continuing support for existing community projects, services and infrastructure is very important.
The project aims to further develop and promote (eco)tourism in order to contribute to a regional and sustainable development by creating alternative ways of income generation.
The activities include:
- A communication and training campaign for local communities and service providers on income opportunities and requirements in international tourism for capacity building,
- The establishment of a Forum on Ecotourism at Kafa Biosphere Reserve,
- Marketing of Kafa Biosphere Reserve as a travel destination,
- General assistance and support of ecotourism in the Kafa Biosphere Reserve through an International Tourism Advisor,
- Close collaboration with partners such as the Kafa Zone Department of Culture and Tourism and the Kafa Development Association.