Tourism in 2020 and Beyond – Guest Blog: Tekeste Asghedom

October 10, 2023
Keren War Cemetery

“The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do well is my religion.” -Thomas Paine

The year 2020 appeared to have started well, but the worldwide explosion of Covid-19 thwarted all the smooth economic and social activities, and suddenly urged countries to reluctantly close their doors by the end of the first half of that year.  In Eritrea offices were closed and the flights of commercial airplanes came to a halt on March 25, 2020. In adherence to the government regulations we were on a complete lockdown for almost two months. Meanwhile we have to lose a number of would be visitors for the remainder of the year. We were expecting close to seventy visitors from April to December 2020.

In spite of all the economical and commercial gains we could have had, 2020 was a fall back in tourism as a whole. Because of the lockdown and its consequences, tourism netted rock bottom. Places that were worth visiting, sights that were worth being enjoyed, people that were worth meeting, a year that was worth living was simply wasted. Apparently life without the Tourism Adventure is not such that life being a living but only surveying.

Camel Markets

Following the lockdown however, I have to confine at home and vigorously flip on many books in my library at home. Great inspirational books kept my ego high. I really enjoyed them.  Furthermore I managed to translate three English language books to our Tigrinya language. The vocabulary in Tigrinya language is not as rich as the English Language. Therefore a translation is quite hard. Anyway my determination motivated me to move on relentlessly.  A fourth is on the way.

As the closure of business in general and the non resumption of commercial flights continue to drag on, I started to feel how much I have missed the noble profession of the tourism business. I have really enjoyed the excellent relationships I have developed with people from all walks of life. As the saying goes, “Do not say that you have money in the bank. You have to say that you have people in the bank (the heart)”. Tourism is an adventure while enjoying the connections one will establish with many people of many tribes. Our Beautiful planet earth is endowed with many wonders worth of seeing in one’s life time. These will include the plains, the mountains, the caves, the seas, the lagoons archaeological sites of thousands of year and so on. Included is also the flora and fauna in store for the traveler to see and wonder. It is such a marvel this planet of ours.

Eritrean locals

The financial gains that a country can reap from the tourism sector are quite immense. This is absolutely true for the developing countries, like Eritrea. Lying at the north eastern part of Africa and endowed with more than 1200 kilometers of sea coast line and about 360 Islands Eritrea is such a tourist destination.  Many visitors reveal that the potential of growth for Eritrea in the tourist sector is quite promising. Service giving is quite sensitive and one has to be careful in handling any visitor or visitors. The image of the country starts at the airport and goes all the way to the hotels, restaurants, fast foods, bars, the market, the immigration the service provider, the tour operator, and above all the population of that country in general.

As far as I am concerned it is not the financial gains I am really concerned about, but the excellent relationships that me, in particular and our company in general is able to achieve with people of the entire planet. I therefore agree with the quotation of Thomas Paine. I believe in one world. I am of the opinion that tourists can carry to torch of peace and make this planet of ours an enjoyable place to live on.

It is my sincere hope that our world’s brilliant scientists will continue to develop an effective vaccine against Covid-19 and in the not distant future and mankind will start to visit to all concerns of our planet earth.

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Author Tekeste Asghedom
2023 Oct 10
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