The  tourism  sector  is  recognized  as  a  growing  industry  playing  an  important  role  in  the economic  and  social  development  and  a  large  number  of  countries  worldwide  depend  on tourism  for  their  economic  growth. The tourism and hospitality industry has experienced tremendous growth both in size and complexity since latter half of the twentieth century around the world. Nowadays, tourism is the economic engine for a significant share of country’s total income and employment. As a labor-intensive industry, tourism is able to generate more jobs than any other sector in different economies.

In  Africa,  many  countries  now  regard  tourism  as  an important  and  integral  part  of  their  economic  development  strategies.  Indeed,  there  is  a growing  recognition  that  tourism  is  becoming  a  dominant  sector  of  economic  activity worldwide. In East Africa tourism receipts average 8.9% of GDP. East Africa is the second most visited region for long-haul tourists; Kenya which gave much emphasis and established many training centers for the industry attracts the most. In Ethiopia tourism is the third biggest foreign-currency-earning industry and the number of tourists visiting is far less than to other African countries, such as Egypt, South Africa, Tunisia, Morocco, or Zimbabwe. Ethiopia possesses more World Heritage sites than even Egypt, but unfortunately they are not fully optimized at the moment. On top of the importance of the industry itself, since hotels are at the center of supply chains, such as food, handicrafts and tour operations, focusing on the hotel industry provides an occasion to overview those associated industries at the same time.

The new tourism policy of Ethiopia among other, aims to integrate the development of the country’s tourism with agricultural, industrial, foreign policies and strategies of the country. Developing the existing and new tourist attractions in variety, scale and quality as well as expansion of infrastructure and tourist facilities are also included as the priority areas in the document. 

Nine of its heritages are in scribed by UNESCO as World Heritage sites. Besides, there are lots of reasons why Ethiopia is an emerging tourist destination in Africa. Among which the followings are the major ones:

  • Tourism is one of the prioritized economic sector to accelerate the development of the country
  • The highest expenditure made by the government in infrastructure development
  • Being an origin of humankind,  Lusi, Ardi and other evidences are found in the country
  • The origin of Coffee Arabica
  • Endowed with unique  animals , birds and plant species
  • The charming hospitality of its nations and nationalities
  • The unique topography  and weather is inviting for tourists to experience
  • Endowed by a number of natural and historical tourist sites

Ethiopia is a strategically important country in the Horn of Africa for most countries and therefore, many international meetings and conferences are held in Ethiopia. This creates huge demand for accommodation at an international standard. The supply of accommodation, however, is far below the level needed to meet the demand.

Considering the country’s demand of getting well equipped with knowledge, attitude and skills Professionals in diversified fields, university of Gondar has started the first ever BA degree program in Tourism Management in 2003/2004. By understanding tourism’s contribution, other Ethiopian universities commenced this program amongst which are formerly Adama Science and Technology University, afterwards in December 2014/15, the department moved to Arsi University. Pertaining with the country’s professional requirements, changing trends and harmonization direction from MOE, since 2021/2022, the department revised its curriculum and changed the nomenclature of the program to Tourism and Hospitality Management.

Rationale of the Program

The motivation of the university to open this program is to train and well equip professionals in the field of tourism and hospitality. Besides, doing research in these fields is the other interest of the university. Most tourism planners and decision makers will agree that, over the past decade, the quantum of research output has been inadequate given the dynamism and increasing complexity of issues confronting the sector. As a result, there is little sharing of country specific information and reports through a core coordinating entity. There is an urgent need to improve the quantity and quality of research data available of the various tourism stake holders. An improved research capability will support decision-making and activities in number of critical areas.

In general, the Curriculum for Bachelor of Arts Degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management is developed is based on the following facts:

  • Needs-assessment and the clear relevance of the field to the socio-cultural, environmental and economic development of the country
  • The intention to respond to the changing economic demands of the country and the current lack of professionals in the field of tourism and hospitality, who would gear the
  • Development of this vital and rapidly growing economic sector
  • Taken specifically because tourism in Ethiopia needs tourism professionals who will work at operational as well as managerial levels
  • Ethiopia is a growing tourist destination with promising annual growth rates of tourist arrivals that are above the world average growth, the country needs qualified personnel to make use of this opportunity
  • Tourism is expected to be an important source of income, means of poverty alleviation to the country and can provide great employment opportunities.

Program Objectives

The general objective of the BA Degree program is to produce high caliber and innovative manpower that can play a significant role in the development and operation of the Tourism and Hospitality industry in Ethiopia by making use of the vast potential of the country in the sector.

The specific objectives of this academic program are

  • To produce high caliber, competent and well qualified graduates to meet the growing demand of trained personnel in the sector
  • To produce graduates who can conduct research in the field and provide advisory services to improve the tourism and hotel sector
  • To provide appropriate training that helps graduates acquire the skills required to serve within the context of international standards of service industry
  • To help students develop and promote a coherent personal and public attitude that includes cultural and natural resource protection as an integrated and significant element
  • To produce entrepreneurs who can be able to create and manage small businesses of their own within the tourism and hotel industry
  • To instill an understanding of the legal and ethical responsibilities associated with the care and management of cultural and natural heritage on the part of the trainees
  • To prepare future professionals to strategically manage and make sustainable and effective decisions in placements of high responsibility in tourism institutions and
  • To provide future professionals with an integrated knowledge of the dynamics of tourism development, the principles of sustainable management, environmental issues, the role of cultural diversity and creativity for innovation and product development, the governance of tourism networks and the quality management of  hotel and customer service

Professional (Graduate) Profile

Graduates of the Tourism and Hospitality Management are equipped with the knowledge and skills in the area of Hospitality Operations, Food & Beverage Services and controls, Housekeeping Management, Front Office Management, Sustainable tourism and tour guide and operations, Business and Management studies areas and they can also work in various managerial positions such as hotel and resort Managers, tourism destination managers, marketing and promotion managers, tour operation and travel agency managers, customer relation managers, tourism experts and supervisors, etc.

Generally, the Tourism and Hospitality Management program provides students with the opportunity to pursue career in tourism and hospitality industry. Up on the successful completion of the program, graduates will become competent workforce in the different sectors of the economy. Mention can be said of:

Duration of the Program

A four-year academic time is required to acquire a Bachelor of Arts in (BA) degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management. Students will join the program after successfully completing first year common courses.

Admission Requirements

Students admitted directly from secondary school are required to meet the national higher education enrollment criteria of that year. After successfully completing first year common courses, students will join the program based on their interest and grade point of first year. Readmission, advance standing and other issues shall be treated based on the academic rules and regulations of the university.

Graduation Requirements

Students who are directly admitted from secondary schools are expected to take a minimum credit hour of 146/240 ECTS. At the end of the program, students are required to have a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.00 with no ‘F’ letter grade in any course to complete the program.

Degree Nomenclature

Students who have successfully completed graduation requirements can earn the following degree Bachelor of Arts Degree in Tourism Management” በአማርኛ:- የአርት ባችለር ዲግሪ በቱሪዝም  እና ሆስፒታሊቲ ማኔጅመንት’’