Contribution of Palaces for Tourism Development in Ethiopia: The Case of Emperor Yohannes IV’s Castle in Agula’e, Tigray National Regional State

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Addis Ababa University


The major finding of this thesis is the contribution of built structures for tourism development in Ethiopia with special reference to the Agula’e Castle built by Emperor Yohannes IV. The general objective of the study is to find out the contribution of the Agula’e castle, located midway between Mekelle and Wukro towns, for tourism development and at the same time to identify factors that adversely impact the role of such castle as a tourist attraction centre and thereby identify possible ways for developing and promoting it so as to make it one of the most attractive tourist destination sites in the region. Soon after my topic was approved by the academic unit, my primary task was gathering relevant data for the research. In that respect I have, by and large, applied a qualitative data gathering method. Some of the major data collection tools employed in the course of this study is structured questionnaire, in- depth interview and an assessment of various relevant documents and observational activities. Primary data was collected through structured questionnaires and by depth interviewing of officers involved, in one way or another, in the tourism sector of the region in particular and the country at large. The information obtained through interview was corroborated by personal observation. Descriptive analysis method is also applied to gauge the relevant information collected from indepth interview and review of secondary data and thereby analyzed and explained thematically by using words, clauses and sentences. In the final analysis, the study has clearly showed that the Agula’e castle was found to be one of the less promoted and less developed destinations in the region. This is mainly because of the absence of heritage protection policy in the region, insufficient budget allocation for tourism sector, poorly designed heritage administration system, lack of stake holder coordination, lack of trained man power and lack of awareness creation endeavor, lack of marketing and promotion. In order to sell this service to visitors we need to conduct well organized research upon the castle itself as well as in the community inhabiting around it so as to let the potential tourists (visitors) know the cultural and architectural value of the castle and the cultural landscape in which the castle is embedded. However, the most important thing that should be taken into consideration is that to make a concerted effort in the development and promotion of the destination. In general the crucial activity of fostering tourism flow into the Agula’e castle destination should be carried out by concerned public and private institutions. Moreover, in order to enhance domestic tourism development, it is advisable to encourage group leaders such as teachers, sports and art club members so that they can build the image of the destination and bring their followers to visit this attractive site.



Agula’e castle, tourism development