On 12th of July 2015, the European Council on Tourism and Trade delegation landed in Hawassa, for a short stay in the city of diversity, as the capital of South Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State is widely known.
Hawassa-the perfect destination of the Southern Ethiopia
At the arrival rostrum the high guests where welcome with a wonderful display of hospitality by Mrs. Almaz Beyero-Head of the local Bureau for Culture and Tourism and members of the tourism department and local mass media. The delegation enjoyed a tour of Haile Resort on the outskirts of the city, a boat ride on Hawassa Lake and a tour of the city landmarks with a special lay over at Sidama Nation Tower-Sidamu Summuda. On the occasion of the visit of European tourism body delegation Mrs. Almaz Beyero presented a welcoming speech destined to present the city tourists attractions and to lure more prospective tourists to the city.
We present the full speech of Hawassa Tourism and Culture Office Head:
Your Excellency Professor Anton Caragea President of European Council for Tourism and Trade
Distinguished Members of the European Union Tourism and Trade Council,
Your Excellency Ato Amin Abdulkadir, Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the South Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State, on behalf of the People of the Region, and on my own behalf, I would like to take this opportunity to warmly welcome you all to our region.
The region is one of the nine national regional states of Ethiopia.
Our region encompasses diversified nations and nationalities, variety of land features and water bodies, and a wide range of Ecosystems.
It is home for 56 nations and nationalities that speak more than 50 languages categorized under four language groups.
These nations and nationalities have characteristic cultural values and an outstanding cultural performance that can attract the feelings of any outsider. Moreover, our diversity is exceptional by being our beauty and the power of our unity.
Mrs. Almaz Beyero-Head of the local Bureau for Culture and Tourism outlines the Hawassa city precious tourism patrimony.
Geographically, the region is situated in southern half of the country very close to the international boundary, Kenya and South Sudan. The Great East African Rift valley, the prominent geographic feature of the region, is the home of more than four lakes that are accountable for enormous aquatic diversity. The significant altitudinal variation and consequent climatic variation of the region results in ecological diversity. Biological diversity in different life forms are maintained and protected in 7 national parks, 2 wildlife reserves, the crocodile ranch and many more protected areas.
The region has unforgettable historical resources. It is known for old aged monasteries, mosques, palaces, caves, defensive walls, megalithic stele sites as well as archeological and paleo-anthropological sites.
These historical heritages makes the region the owner of three UNESCO registered World Heritage Sites, one biosphere reserve and in which the best gift to the world , coffee is originated.
There are many more intangible as well as tangible heritages that are in the pipeline to be registered as World Heritage Sites, the two are already registered under the tentative list.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The regional government has been doing its best to develop, promote and properly utilize its cultural, natural and historical resources for the benefit of its people through tourism development and other means’s.
As a result, the tourism sector has shown significant growth in the past two decades. Especially in the last one year the regional government developed tourism transformation plan and established Tourism Transformation Council in all administrative levels to integrate tourism in its all development agendas. Consequently, the region is able to witness positive development in the sector.
The selection and awarding of our country as The World Best Tourist Destination for 2015 by The European Union Tourism and Trade Council appropriately comply with our ongoing effort.
This award not only insures the recognition we have at the international level but also used as a spring-board on our effort to transform the sector.
Therefore, the regional government is very grateful for what you did and I hope your support will continue till of our plan gets real.
Finally, I welcome you all again, and I wish you to have a nice and pleasant stay and enjoy the original taste of coffee, the hospitality of our people and their culture in our region, our city, Hawassa.
Harar-the city of peace and harmony, as is his UNESCO sobriquet, received the visit of European Council on Tourism and Trade President and his delegation on July 13, 2015.
The delegation was welcomed by the Head of Harari Regional Culture, Heritage and Tourism Bureau Mr. Muhyadin Ahmed at the headquarters of the bureau.
Visiting Harar (from left to right): Senator Ionel Agrigoroaei, President Anton Caragea, Head of Harar Tourism Bureau-Muhyadin Ahmed, Academician Mircea Constantinescu.
Harar was built in 7th century and is enjoying UNESCO world heritage status for his outer-wall called Jugal and build around 1552 and encompassing 82 mosques and 400 shrines that made the city being called Medinat al Awliya (City of Saints).
European Council on Tourism and Trade delegation had the chance to visit the famous five gates of the city, toured Arthur Rimbaud famous house in the city, the palaces of Ras Tafari Mekonnen ( future Emperor Haile Selassie ) and traditional harari houses.
ECTT Trade Chairman-Mr. Mihai Prundianu visiting Grand Jami Mosque on Harar.
The delegation toured also famous Grand Jami Mosque and visited lodging facilities at Harar Ras Hotel.
Harar is today a living museum of Africa, a city of unique features and a perfect place for the culture and history lovers concluded at the end of the short, but impressive visit, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea- European Council on Tourism and Trade President.
European delegates are receiving a perfect Amharic traditional welcoming at Gondar Airport.
Taking opportunity of this felicitous occasion Mayor Getinet Amare wanted to give a message to all the world tourists: to come to his wonderful city and to enjoy the heartland of Ethiopia: city of Gonder.
Amharic dances at celebrated traditional restaurant Four Sisters in Gondar.
Here is the full text of his speech:
Your Excellency Professor Anton Caragea President of European Union Trade and Tourism Council.
First of all I would like to express my heart felt gratitude on behalf of the city administration and the people of Gondar for adjusting your precious time for visiting this city which is the center of marvelous culture and heritage.
Gondar was founded in 1636 by Emperor Fasiledes.
Starting this time on wards in became the center of modern architecture. As a result the first and the largest castle was built by the name of king Fasileded – “Fasil Castle”.
Different castles and churches were built accompanied the grandest castle within an area of 70,000 meter square. The birth of such a modern architecture and start of urbanization enabled Gondar to be the center of arts, Orthodox Church education, crafts man ship, trade and exchange which stepped up Gondar in to a ladder to become and serve as a capital city of Ethiopia for more than 200 years.
Gondar the home of a world heritage site since 1978 is 748 kilometers away to the North West direction from the capital city Addis Ababa.
Many of Ethiopian’s impressive tourist sites are within a few hours drive. Bahr Dar, the Island ministries of Lake Tana and the spectacular Blue Nile falls are within 180 kms to the South Gondar.
The Semien Mountains National Park ( a world heritage site ) with its Breath taking scenery and rare and endemic wild life is of only 140 kms to the north of Gondar.
Its altitude ranges from 1900-4620 meters above sea levels it is the highest peak in Ethiopia and the fourth largest mountain in Africa.
Besides Gondar has an easy asphalted road network access to both Lalibela ( the most striking feature and world heritage site ) to the west, Axum ( the world heritage site ) to the north and Gedarif ( the Sudanese city ) to the east respectively currently Gondar has a population of about 368,435 and hence I warmly want to say welcome !
Mayor Getinet Amare and European Councilon Tourism and Trade President holding “Fasil Castle” iron model.
Obviously the current global experience witnesses that tourism is growing to the extent of becoming one of the world’s largest economic sectors.
Its role is so significant in improving gross income and production and in stimulating various economic activities ,creating more employment opportunities and reducing poverty in addition tourism development undoubtedly paves the situation for the development of investment , trade and exchange .
Having this in mind , we are required to guide our strategic and operational plans in a way that help us to maximize our benefit from the sector ; and simultaneously we are also required to work hard to improve and develop the necessary infrastructure, related facilities and addressing the needs of tourists.
So , we hope ! Planned and controlled expansion and growth of tourism will be achievable through enhancing and maintaining common interest and partnerships.
28 countries representatives analyzed the candidatures for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION IN 2015
On the debate for the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD FOR 2015, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, President of European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) presented a report titled: ETHIOPIA : THE PERFECT CULTURAL DESTINATION: THE LAND CHOSEN BY GOD !
On the front the voting urne while Professor Dr. Anton Caragea MA, FINS, ETA present the report: ETHIOPIA: THE LAND CHOSEN BY GOD!
He proposed ETHIOPIA as the winner of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2015 and as receiver of the FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION distinction for 2015.
The report noted the reasons for awarding WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2015 PRIZE to ETHIOPIA:
• The excellent preservation of humanity landmarks such as: ruins of the city of Aksum- the heart of ancient Ethiopia, Fasil Ghebbi- the residence of the Ethiopian emperors during the 16th and 17th century, Harar Jugol- 82 mosques, 102 shrines, and unique interior design in the townhouses, Lalibela- holy site encompassing eleven medieval stone carved churches from the 13th century, Konso Cultural Landscape (containing 55 kilometers of stonewalled terraces and fortified settlements), Lower Valley of the Awash-where humanity made his first steps and where was found the Eva of all mankind-Lucy fossil’s, Lower Valley of the Omo also containing fragments pertaining to early humanity development and the fossils of Homo Gracilis.
All this sites where recognized as being of world significance and registered as UNESCO World heritage monuments.
Palestine, Russian and Malaysian Ambassadors flanking President Anton Caragea and Senator Florin Constantinescu
• The rich cultural and historical legacy of Ethiopia is not confined to the previous presented list: new prominent landmarks are added such as: Sheik Hussein Religious, Cultural and Historical Site, Melka Kunture- Paleolithic site in the upper Awash Valley, Gedeo Cultural and Natural Landscape, Bale Mountains National Park, Sof Omar Cave- the longest cave in Ethiopia at 15.1 kilometres long; and the longest system of caves in Africa-sacred for Islam and for local Oromo population.
In order to fully grasp the natural potential of Ethiopia natural parks and natural reservations we must look at the potential of Simien National Park garnering mountain peaks, deep valleys, and sharp precipices dropping about 1,500 m.
• The ambitious plan drafted by the Government of Ethiopia under the name of Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). Tourism as a tool for poverty eradication, for local community development and for economic independence is a successful strategy carved by H.E. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
Community based, social oriented tourism, promoted by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, is a perfect way of sharing revenue, growing income and supporting marginal and rural communities development.
The way in which social-tourism has become the base for local economic development, providing benefits to communities, makes social-friendly tourism, the lesson that today-the REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA is offering to the world.
• Giving tourists access to outstanding and pristine nature and the opportunity to explore nature, to contribute to ecological preservation, and the opportunity to visit extraordinary places.
All these regions and national parks, are a model of achieving ecological and green tourism that must be recognized throughout the world.
• The ongoing development and protection of cultural, religious and historical shrines of the Republic of ETHIOPIA , the transformation of Lalibela into a historical and spiritual centre, offering to the visitors a glimpse into rich culture and heritage of peoples of ETHIOPIA.
Shaking and smiles on the venue of European Council on Tourism and Trade: tourism is going well is the motto!
Lalibela is the land of faith and miracles that must be presented to the world as a center of religious and faith significance equal to Jerusalem only in the world.
Lalibela must be the center of religious pilgrimage and cultural tourism offering to world tourists the complex healing experience of cultural legacy, religious special atmosphere and faith imbued air.
• The preservation of outstanding historical and cultural heritage in the form of the former capital of the Kingdom of Ethiopia, the Gondar cultural complex , an ample palatial complex from the 13th Century, offering a pungent presence of one of the African greatest empire.
• Today, Gondar castle complex offers tourists bound for Ethiopia an open air museum with a rare collection of historical and archaeological treasures that educate and enrich the world.
• The REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA is also a perfect center for safari and adventure tourism, offering large areas suitable for this special kind of tourism, and the necessary infrastructure to welcome the adventure seeker, its safety and peace, makes the country, one of the world’s top adventure destinations.
• Keeping alive community blending traditions, allows tourists and visitors to be part of the ETHIOPIA unique people’s ethnic fabric, which offers the possibility for an enriching cultural experience, are all achievements that make the REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA a perfect cultural class destination.
President Dr. Anton Caragea declared REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA as WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2015
President Dr. Anton Caragea asked for a vote and European Council on Tourism and Trade decided, unanimously, to award WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2015 TITLE TO REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA and to declare REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA- THE FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION in 2015.
The meeting was also presented with the Official Invitation, from the Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of the REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA via the , for a delegation of high ranking officials of the European Council on Tourism and Trade, to present the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD in Addis Ababa, in person, to His Excellency Prime Minister of REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA- HAILEMARIAM DESALEGN, European Academician and outstanding personality in world tourism, today.
Concluding the debate, Professor Anton Caragea, President of the European Council on Tourism and Trade marked the importance of the moment the most impressive world tourism prize was entrusted to ETHIOPIA.
The safety of the country and the huge hospitality potential of Ethiopia is revealed by the acceptance of the invitation for a familiarization visit of high ranking members of European Council on Tourism and Trade to the ETHIOPIA.
Ethiopia is from today a perfect, safe and outstanding place to visit, the countries gates are opened and all world tourism experts expressed their confidence in the potential and future of tourism in ETHIOPIA, concluded Professor Anton Caragea, President of the European Council on Tourism and Trade.
The Office of the President of European Council on Tourism and Trade announced that H.E. Prime Minister of Ethiopia Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn has being consecrated as a WORLD LEADER OF TOURISM and as a member of European Tourism Academy for his “recognition of the role and significance of tourism on world stage”.
The official letter emanating from European Council on Tourism and Trade encourages Ethiopia to continue on the road for development via tourism growth and for poverty reduction strategy:
“Today, the Government of Ethiopia is recognizing the importance of tourism as a key facilitator for the country development and international promotion, creating exemplary structures like Tourism Transformation Council, investing in infrastructure and capacity building, creating a special team under Your Excellency leadership for destination promotion and management and protecting the cultural, natural and historical patrimony of the country.
Prime Minister of Ethiopia Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn recognized as a WORLD LEADER OF TOURISM
The world leaders that are offering such a special attention to historical patrimony of their country and use it, and preserve it for the benefit of the future generation, who grasp the importance of tourism as the most important part of diplomacy, international relations and raising national profile on world arena, must be supported and commanded and offered as a general example”.
The letter signed by H.E. European Council on Tourism and Trade President-Professor Dr. Anton Caragea and European Tourism Academy Director-Dr. Mircea Constantinescu for H.E. Prime Minister of Ethiopia Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn concludes: In your new capacity, as the representative of ETHIOPIA on world tourism and on international cultural stage, we hope that the World will benefit now from your public exertions and support in creating a new world community based on peace, development and tourism as the pillars of international cooperation.
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