A new year is always the time to draw the line and to contemplate all that was right and well done in the last span of time.
Ethiopia certainly has a lot to be thanks full in analysing the 2015 period, when the country was hailed as WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION IN THE WORLD for 2015 and received more tourism revenues during 2015 alone, than all other countries in Eastern Africa (including former tourism household names of Kenya and Tanzania).
Looking back to this time of glory and tourism and cultural prowess, that Ethiopia trust will be soon revived, THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD celebrated the magic number of 200 million viewers for ETHIOPIA- WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION IN 2015 documentary around the globe.
For the importance and significance of the article and the perfect vision offered for Ethiopian Tourism at the beginning of NEW YEAR 2017, we are offering for world readers this article on his original website:
Genre of Tourism What makes Ethiopia the world’s best tourist destination ?
by Esubalew Tadesse
03 Jan 2017 Society
As it is known, on June 25,2015 the General Assembly of The European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) has chosen Ethiopia as the world best tourist destination because of its tangible and intangible cultural assets. The assembly arrived on this decision after it critically scrutinized candidate countries performance in accommodating tourists coming from all over the world and the enabling environment in this regard. Prime Minister HaileMarriam Dessalegn also is awarded as the world best tourism leader of the year 2015.
In the award ceremony of World best Tourism Destination for 2015 folk dances, Ethiopian traditional coffee ceremony were exhibited and academic presentations,by re-knowned intellectuals were presented.
In addition it was live broadcast-ed and viewed by more than 200 million people and will continue to be broadcast across Europe until the end of next year.
On the 9th of July 2015, the Minister of Culture and Tourism Amin Abdulkadir welcomed the European Union high ranking officials at the air port.
Later they visited Axum, Gondar, Lalibela, Harar Jugol, Hawassa, Bahir Dar towns.
The minister expressed his gratitude the the European Union support, for being Ethiopia elected as the World Best Tourism Destination and Favorite Cultural Diversity for 2015, a moment that will mark the full maturity of Ethiopian tourism industry.
The European Union delegation officials visit to Ethiopia helps the delegation to look what is happening in Ethiopia in the sphere of socioeconomic development and to understand how the country tourism contribute for the world in this regard. During the visit the European Union Council on Tourism and Trade President, Professor Dr.
Anton Caragea, graciously acknowledged that, the warm welcoming by his counter part . “I am pleased and honored to be in Ethiopia- the center of African tourism; now Ethiopia has emerged as the most rapidly developing economy and a symbol of African development.
Ethiopia is today a , safe and outstanding place in the world to be visited and all world tourism experts have expressed their confidence in the potential and future of tourism in the country”
The are many reasons Ethiopia to be selected for wining the World best tourist destination for 2015 prize and among others the Axum obelisk can be mentioned here, the obelisk indicated that the excellent preservation of human culture and the ruins of the city which was the center of the Axum empire.
The royal tombs, the church of he Arch of Covenant, the Saint Mary Imperial Basilica, where the emperors of Ethiopia were crowned all these testify how the country is enriched by material and non material culture ever since the establishment of the Axum empire. On the tour the European delegates, were opened the gates of the imperial museum which endowed with priceless treasures such as the garments of 10 emperors in which decoratively used during the crowning ceremony adorned with jewels and the robes used for imperial investiture.
The other site visited by the delegates was the Gondar castle – Gondar was the political center of the era of prince which prevailed for 150 years from the last quarter of the 18 century up to the mid 19 century.
During this time emperors were throne and throne by princes had a nominal power.
Most regions in the northern Ethiopia were out of the control of the palace in Gondar. The era of prince ended after the coming to power of Emperor Tewodross the II who reunified Ethiopia. But the Gondar castle which was the residential place of the emperors is recognized by UNESCO as cultural heritage. The castle Gondar is nicknamed as African Camelot for its strange but perfect architecture.
Harar Jugol – The city comprises more than 82 mosques, 102 shrines sites which have unique interior design .
There are also 4000 saints tombs known by the Islamic world as Medinat Al Awliya and UNESCO recognized the city as cultural heritage tolerance. The famous city wall known as jugol, and the French poet Arthur Rimbaud house in Harar have been attracting many tourists coming from all over the world.
Lalibela – the holiest Christian city in Africa, also known as the second Jerusalem encompassing eleven medieval stone carved churches beginning from the 13th century. Out of six of the eleven rockhewn churches including the famous grave of Saint Lalibela, the church of Medhane Alem (Our Saviour) and Holy Cross Church are very impressive.
Konso – Cultural Landscape containing 55 kilometers of stonewalled terraces and fortified settlements.
Lower Valley of the Awash river is one of the most archaeologically prestigious site where human fossil known as Lucy aged more than 3 million years is found. The Lower Valley of the Omo river also containing fragments pertaining to early humanity development and the fossils of Homo Gracilis.
The rich cultural and historical legacy of Ethiopia is not confined to the above mentioned sites there are also new prominent cultural and ritual sites such as Sheik Hussein Bale,’ 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 which is 15.1 kilometers long.It is also the longest system of caves in Africa sacred for Islam and for local Oromo population.
Tiya standing stones – This archaeological site found in the Guraghe zone of Southern Nation and Nationalities region. There are 36 standing stones among them 32 are engraved with enigmatic symbols notably swords.
Lake Tana – is the source of Blue Nile river located in 3000 square kilometers and the larges lake in Ethiopia which has 37 islands. There are more than 20 churches and monasteries in the Islands.
Blue Nile Falls is a breathtaking falls originates from the largest lake of Ethiopia (Tana) is four hundred meters wide and forty six meters deep. Near to this fall there is an amazing bridge Named ‘enqulal dildiy’ meaning Egg Bridge which was built by Portuguese in 17th century.
National Parks – There are more than 15 natural national parks in Ethiopia. In these parks there are diversified animals, plants and birds. Among them 31 mammals, 37 birds, 14 reptiles, 30 amphibians, 7 arthropods, 4 fish and 12 % of the 700 species are endemic to Ethiopia.
There are also 8 reserves, 18 controlled hunting areas, 4 sanctuaries. These national parks can serve as ecological and green tourism that must be recognized throughout the world.
Erta-ale (Smoking Mountain) – This active volcanic mountain is found in Afar Danakil depression. Even though the region is lowland and very hot it is visited by many tourists annually. All the tourists that come from all over the world wonder the area.
Ethiopia is also a center for safari and adventure tourism, offering large areas suitable for special kind of tourism, if the necessary infrastructure are stretched the country could be one of the world’s top tourism destinations.
The religious festival of Masqel ( the finding of the true cross) were recognized as being of world significance and registered as UNESCO World heritage monuments.
This amazing award provided to Ethiopia tremendously helps the tourism industry.
The award also manifests how Ethiopia is competent in the world tourism and advertise the country tourism asset and it is time to exploit the created opportunity.
Tourism is a business which could transact billions of dollars in which helps the country to earn the much needed hard currency.
In addition it play crucial role by triggering the expansion of infrastructures such as roads,hotels,air ports, piped water,electric light,It and other service providing business so that create job opportunity for thousands in which further stimulate the country economy. More and more the sector growth enable the industry internationally competent.
Source: European tourism news, WTO news.
A short video of the event can be watched here:
More articles about ETHIOPIA-WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2015
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.