Employment and Income Potentiality of Tourism Development

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Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies and Management Vol.1 No.2 June. 2008

Employment and Income Potentiality of Tourism Development in Amhara Region Ethiopia. *Ajala O.A. Abstract A few members of less developed countries of sub-Sahara Africa have realized the potential of tourism development for rapid socio-economic development, capable of generating foreign exchange; reduce unemployment and improving the standard of the people. Amhara region of Ethiopia is an example of regions blessed with abundance and diversified tourism sites with potentials of contributing to the socio-economic development not only of the region but also to the country at large. This paper examines four Tourism Enterprises which include Hotel, Souvenir, Tour guide and Water transport businesses to pin point the potentiality of tourism as catalyst of development. Data were collected from both primary and secondary sources, using inventory field survey and questionnaire administration. Data generated were analysed using simple statistical methods as frequencies and percentages. It concludes that developments of Tourism Businesses are generators of employment and income not only for the entrepreneurs but to the entire region with a high multiplier effect on the national economy. Key Words: Tourism Enterprises, Employment, Income, Amhara Region and Ethiopia.

Introduction ourism has become an appealing sustainable economic development strategy for the Less Developed Countries in dire need of alternative source of foreign exchange earnings. Next to oil, tourism is the net foreign exchange earner at the international level. It is the highest employer of labour in the tertiary sector of the World economy and the second largest after agriculture. Tourism potential impact on the economy cut across several sectors to includetransportation, manufacturing, food processing and packaging, construction, trade and commerce and other ancillary services. It is an international commodity, thus it has a global market from where it draws its patronage and there is no age barrier for its customers. However, the full potential of tourism as a development option has yet to be realized in many of the developing countries that have embraced the concept. Also there is a dearth of researches focusing on the analysis of the regional impact of tourism in the Sub-Saharan African Countries. Such researches could spur policy shift towards tourism so as to realize the full potential of its adoption as a development strategy. This paper is an attempt to fill this gap particularly in Africa, using Amhara region of Ethiopia as a case to unearth the employment and income potentiality of tourism development not only for the study area but also for other African countries, where tourism industry is at its crawling stage. 74

Tourism in the Development Paradigm Regional development strategies in the developing countries of Sub-Saharan Africa have witnessed several changes since the second half of the last century. The success and failure of different strategies adopted by these countries has been at varying degrees and dimensions from one country to the other. Some of these strategies had focused on industrialization, exploration of mineral resources, and exportation of primary products and concentration of investments in the major urban centres at the expense of the regions. The basic theory underpinning these types of development strategies is the "Growth pole theory" developed by Perroux (1950) which was modified by the works of Myrdal (1957), Hirschmann (1958) and Bouldeville (1966) as "Growth Centre Theory". The inability of the growth centre models to bring about the desired equitable balanced development and the increasing disparity in the level of development helped to fuel the search for alternative paradigm for development since the past three decades. According to World Bank (1975), regional development is a process of growth, transformation and progress. The growth...
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