A simple electronic visa (e-visa) obtained online is now sufficient to travel to Ethiopia, said a statement from Ethiopian Airlines, published last Tuesday. The immigration department that worked on the project, together with the state-owned airline, says it has finalized preparations for the launch of the new service.

Concretely, according to the statement, the process of obtaining the visa will be done online on a single web page, where travelers wishing to go to Ethiopia will apply, pay and secure their sesame. An authorization email will be sent to applicants, once the application is accepted, and they will obtain their passport with visa upon arrival in Addis Ababa.

“Ethiopia, the oldest independent civilization in Africa and one of the oldest in the world, is blessed with historic places, a diverse cultural heritage and various endemic wild animals that are of interest to international tourists.” Tewolde Gebre Mariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. Before adding that “the effective implementation of the online visa application and issuance system will promote tourism, trade and investment in the country”.

However, the growth prospects offered by the e-visa for the tourism and commerce sectors could be jeopardized by recent warnings from the US State Department. This Tuesday, in fact, the institution has, in an update on risky destinations, alerted American citizens to the dangers of a trip to Ethiopia due to civil unrest, arbitrary detentions and the cutting of Internet.

A warning that comes at its worst after Ethiopia’s efforts to attract North American tourists and the country’s nomination as one of the top ten tourist destinations in 2017, by Australian travel guide publisher Lonely Planet.

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