Assessing Supplies of Micro and Small Scale Enterprises to the Tourism Industry in Aksum Town, Ethiopia

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The town of Aksum is historically the richest tourist destination in Ethiopia. Thus, it is known for its cultural tourist attractions i.e. archaeological, religious and historical attractions. The objective of this study is to assess the supplies of micro and small scale enterprises to the tourism industry in the town. A qualitative research design was pursued in this study. Data were collected from primary and secondary sources. Interviews were conducted with purposely selected subjects as the main instrument of primary data collection. In addition, field visits were conducted to observe the sites and take pictures. Both published and unpublished secondary sources were used, particularly for the literature review. Participants of this study were selected from the tourism and hotel industry, the Small Scale Enterprises Agency, micro and small scale enterprises, the Culture and Tourism Agency and other government offices. The Ethiopian Sustainable Tourism Development Project (ESTDP) was also consulted to assess the involvement of micro and small scale enterprises in the tourism sector. The findings indicate that micro and small scale enterprises have been divided into the five main economic sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, construction, trade and service sectors. The Ethiopian Sustainable Tourism Development Project has supported the enterprises in working with the tourism industry. The government’s role in organizing and supporting the enterprises however, seems to be weak. Some of the enterprises produce and sell their products to tourism institutions involved as frontline suppliers to the tourists. However, the enterprises are not well-organized and not strong enough to supply the required quantity and quality. Moreover, some of the enterprises don’t have any link with the tourism sector. The policy implications from this study indicate that local government in collaboration with private sectors and voluntary donors should support the local small enterprises to increase their capacity and improve their supplies.
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Archival date: 2019-12-22
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