Ethiopia: Lalibela Price Hike Angers Some Visitors and Local Business

(Photo: Flickr)

Addis Fortune via AllAfrica.com

BY TAMRAT G. GIORGIS

Foreign visitors to Lalibela were in for a nasty surprise on January 8, 2013, when they arrived at the holy churches and were told entrance fees had gone up by 160 percent overnight.

The fee went up from 350 Br to 910 Br to visit the Lalibela churches in the Amhara Regional State, an hour’s flight from Addis Abeba.

The town of Lalibela was buzzing, with numerous people making a living from the tourism industry bracing themselves for the impact of the price increase, amidst concerns over how foreign visitors would react. Over 56,000 foreign visitors were reported to have arrived in the town, 636Km north of the capital, in 2011/12.

Lieuwe Bos, 24, a medical student who has just finished his studies and was travelling across Ethiopia with his girlfriend, was unable to pay the fees last week and did not go in.

“This is a rip-off,” said Bos, a visitor from the Netherlands. “How can they increase it just like this? This is more than three times what you pay at the Louvre in Paris, and that is the best museum in the world.”

Read more.

Related:
Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela – UNESCO World Heritage Site



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