On 11 of July 2015,the European Council on Tourism and Trade delegates where recieved in the medieval capital of Ethiopia: Gondar (Gonder).

The ceremony of welcoming the european delegates, attending WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION CEREMONY for 2015, was directed by the city mayor-Mr. Getinet Amare.

Getinet Amare welcoming European delegation

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.

Amhari Dances in Gondar

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.

Respected Gusts

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 !

President Dr. Anton Caragea receives Fesil Gebril macheta from Mayor of Gondar-Mr. Getinet Amare

Mayor Getinet Amare and European Councilon Tourism and Trade President holding “Fasil Castle” iron model.

I want to assure you that we are very much happy and feel proud for the reason that our Prime minister, His Excellency Hailemarim Desalegn recived an award of “world Best Tourist Destination Ethiopia – Favorite cultural Destination for 2015” for his recognized dedication to boost tourism development in Ethiopia.

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.

Wish you a pleasant stay in Gondar.

Getinet Amare

Gondar City Mayor