HARAR – Lack of tourism infrastructure and insufficient promotion has been identified to have contributed for weak tourism development in the City of Harar, Afro FM reports. 

The Harari regional administration identifies bottlenecks to be addressed for the sector to grow in the city.

The City of Harar is a fortified old and historical city home to rich and diverse cultural and tourism attractions found no were else in the world. Its home to the UNESCO inscribed Harar Jugol and other cultural and social attractions. However, lack of proper promotions is hindering the city form cashing form its tourism sector. In an interview with Afro FM the Regional Chief Administrator Odrin Bedri said despite efforts made by the administration there are a lot of challenges that need to be addressed for the sector to improve.

“The greatest potential of Harar is tourism. It is among a few cities in the world that received two awards for its Jagol Wall and for being a city of love peace and unity. Local and foreign tourists travel to the city to visit not just the Jagol but also the life style within. Hence it is necessary to safeguard and tend these attractions.” 

Odrin says improvements though commendable are still way behind from what needs to be done to capitalize from the sector.

“In Harar, we were unable to implement plans that were aimed at improving the tourism industry. So to improve the industry first transportation should be developed. Secondly supporting organizations that are working in the tourism industry is very important. The other thing we should focus on is providing quality accommodation to tourists that visit the city. Even though there was a shortage of hotels before but currently we are seeing improvements in that regard.”

Veronica, a tourist from Italy says Harar is a unique city that needs to be promoted.

Sherif Harar City Museum Founder and Curator, Abdulah Ali Sherif has painstakingly acquired regional cultural objects since the early 1990s. He said promotional works needs to be done along with conservation.

A lot of heritages are found in the hands of individuals at different places. In my opinion if one can do a better job of taking care of our heritages then do so, if not such heritages which are treasures of the country should be handed over to museums so they can be well protected and taken care of.”   

In 2006, Harar was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site to highlight its unique and exceptional architecture, which captures the African and Islamic culture of its habitats.