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.