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Antigovernment Violence Threatens Ethiopia's Tourism Gains

Until this month, Ethiopian tourism had been on the upswing. 

 

The European Council on Tourism and Trade named the country the world’s top travel destination in 2015, and it was on track to receive more than a million tourists this year for the first time ever. 

 

Then, violent antigovernment protests erupted all across the country, causing the government to declare a six-month state of emergency. Both the U.S. and the U.K. have issued warnings advising against any nonessential travel there.

 

The violence and the advisories could have a dire impact on Ethiopia’s fledgling travel industry, even though the primary tourism draws—including archaeological sites, national parks, and mountain ranges—are far from the areas experiencing unrest. 

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The country’s optimists are hoping that the state of emergency will be lifted earlier than planned, before the tourism boom goes bust. 

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