About SARO-SURI and the Request for Support to Promote Tourism in Omo Valley
This campaign is developed by SARO-SURI Tours & Tourism located in the Omo Valley, Ethiopia to improve and support tourism and the local community of Omo Valley, Ethiopia. Although SARO-SURI managed to fulfill all the legal requirements as a tour operation business enterprise, it has faced financial constraints to cover basic camping facilities (such as tents, beds, chairs, kitchen equipment and others). This has necessitated us to appeal to our friends who support our initiative to help us move forward to provide quality services to meet our customers expectations. We are looking to raise $16,000 to support this need.
About Tourism in Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Ethiopia is an ancient country with a remarkably rich linguistic and cultural diversity which includes both tangible and intangible heritages. The SNNPR, one of the regional states in the country, is located in the Southern and Southwestern part of Ethiopia bordering with Kenya in the South, Sudan in the Southwest, the Gambella region in northwest and surrounded by the Oromia region in the Northwest, North and Eastern directions. The SNNPR is endowed with outstanding and varied natural, historical and cultural attractions. Three of the World Heritages; three of the major great Rift Valley lakes; seven of the national parks; two controlled hunting areas; the only crocodile ranch are found in the region. In addition, breathtaking beauty of natural hot springs, the south-western natural forest and the birth place of coffee, waterfalls, together with the diverse ethnic and cultural resources set the region among the top priority tourist destinations in the country.
The lower Omo Valley, the most fascinating cultural diversity hotspot in the world, is inhabited by more than twenty ethnic groups with their own living cultural practices that are real and unspoiled. Besides, the ancient monasteries, churches; mosques and the old aged and historical stelae and caves offer a great opportunity and potentials for the development of tourism in the region.
The lower Omo Valley, the major Paleo-anthropological site (1980), Tiya telae (1980) and the Konso Cultural Landscape (2011) are the tangible and Fiche Chambalala (Sidamas New Year celebration) (2015) an intangible world heritage inscribed by UNESCO are among the popular tourism attractions and destinations in the region.
According to the SNNPR Culture and Tourism Bureau, the tourist flow both in terms of domestic and inbound tourists has been increasing from year to year. For example, by the year 2008 G.C, about 57,347 foreign tourists (inbound tourists) have visited the region, which increased to 237,461in 2013 G.C. and 323,834 in 2018 G.C. This recorded data shows the increasing trends on tourist flows depicting the regions tourism potentials and growing market for the tourism sector of the region. The founding team members have been serving as local guides and translators for a number of foreign tourists visiting the area.
This exposure and experience along with discussions and consultations with friends and tourists who are keen to support the promotion of local tourism business idea have led to the inception of SARO-SURI tours and toursim. What makes SARO-SURI different from similar business entity is that part of the profit generated from the tour operation service will go to support local community development initiative such as schools.
SARO-SURI Tours has been set up by a group comprised of individuals from the local communities of the Omo Valley and friends having different educational backgrounds. Doing so, it has been managed to get a legal certificate of registration as SARO-SURI Tours and Tourism Service Enterprise, Taxpayer registration certificate from SNNPR Tax Administration Authority respectively. Currently, with undeserved volunteer support from friends in abroad, SARO-SURI has a regularly updated operational website serving as the main promotional and marketing channel for our business activities and services we are offering to potential customers. It is worth mentioning that, quite a number of potential guests are making contacts for tour package itineraries and price quotations for their upcoming visit to the Omo Valley Ethiopia.