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:
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
PRESIDENT OBAMA PUSHES FOR TOURISM AND TRAVEL REFORM AFTER VISIT TO ETHIOPIA – WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION MODEL
During the official visit of European Council on Tourism and Trade Delegation to Ethiopia, World Best Tourist Destination for 2015, the official meeting between HE. ECTT President- Professor Dr. Anton Caragea and HE. Minister of Culture and Tourism of Ethiopia-Amin Abdulkadir has taken place.
Minister of Culture and Tourism-Ato Amin Abdulkadir presents Lucy-the oldest hominide to European Council on Tourism and Trade President-Dr. Anton Caragea and Senator Ionel Agrigoroaei.
On 9th of July 2015, H. E. Minister Amin Abdulkadir has welcomed the European high ranking officials at their arrival on Ethiopian soil.
The minister express his country appreciation for European support, in electing Ethiopia as World Best Tourist Destination and Favourite Cultural Destination for 2015, a moment that will mark the full maturity of Ethiopian tourism industry.
Amin Abdulkadir-Minister of Culture and Tourism of Ethiopia presented with the promotion T-shirt for summer 2015 marking Ethiopia as World Best Tourism Destination for 2015.
European Council on Tourism and Trade President, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, graciously acknowledged the warm welcoming and stated that: now Ethiopia has emerged as the most rapidly developing African country, one of the world top level economic powers and a symbol of African development.
I am pleased and honoured to be in Ethiopia-the Center of African tourism, concluded President Professor Dr. Anton Caragea.
Minister of Culture and Tourism-Amin Abdulkadir, Prime Minister and European Academician-Hailemariam Desalegn and European Council on Tourism and Trade President-Dr. Anton Caragea (from right to left)-Presiding of World Best Tourist Destination for 2015 ceremony.
On 14 July 2015, a new round of talks was held between the two tourism leaders at the end of European Council on Tourism and Trade top level delegation visit to Ethiopia-World Favourite Cultural Destination.
European Council on Tourism and Trade President remarked that Ethiopia had succeed in the world competition for World Best Tourist Destination for all the right reasons and is today a paradise for travellers, an oasis for culture and history seekers and a perfect luxury and discovery destination.
Minister of Culture and Tourism of Ethiopia -Amin Abdulkadir had presented his ambitious plans for fostering Ethiopia’s place on international tourism markets and presented his desire to continue the cooperation with European tourism body for years to come.
Among minister plans are: to obtain for a city in Ethiopia the designation of World Capital of Culture and Tourism, to start a step by step and state by state developing process of tourism in Ethiopia.
HE. Minister of Culture and Tourism of Ethiopia, Amin Abdulkadir and H.E. ECTT President, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, discussed a long term agreement of support and cooperation envisaging: holding of conferences, exhibitions, promotion activities and decided to concentrate in electing in 2016 a World Capital of Culture and Tourism from Ethiopia, in order to create a two-three years long campaign for Ethiopia-the land chosen by God!
What is World Television Day ?
In December 1996, the UN General Assembly proclaimed November 21st as World Television Day, to celebrate the day of the first World Television Forum.
The concept of a television anniversary came to be as a recognition of “television’s constantly growing impact over decision-making, by directing attention worldwide to conflicts and threats to peace and security,” and of “its potential role in strengthening focus on other major issues, including economic and social.”
European Council on Tourism and Trade marks the celebrates World Television Day
The European Council on Tourism and Trade hails the anniversary of 2014 World Television Day and is recognizes the importance of this communication technology in tourism industry of today and continues to dominate the current mass-media.
In the contemporary world of tourism, marked by globalization and unprecedented growth of communications, television remains an essential avenue for the circulation of information and a permanent fixture of everyone’s daily life.
Using television information reaches all continents instantly, providing a platform for debates, creating currents of opinion, warning of significant problems or events that have a regional or global impact.
Tourism and travel are often the subject of news, interviews and documentaries, and the people are informed of major decisions and tourism opportunities.
Besides its informative role, television opens the doors of knowledge to the widest variety of knowledge, whether it is tourism or politics or economy, culture, history, geography etc., demonstrating its enormous educational potential.
Television channels are not simply local entities or industries but crucial components of a global network that connects people, cultures and societies. Television is undoubtedly a constant symbol of communication and a binder for the entire world.
To all people working in television we most sincerely wish Happy World Television Day!
Briefing regarding the magistral contribution of European Council on Tourism and Trade to world development.
European Council on Tourism and Trade succeeded on the last period to offer a significant contribution to powerty eradication and development by trade and tourism becoming the main european organization involved in supporting developing countries integration in world economic, trade and tourism structures.
European Council on Tourism and Trade prove to be instrumental in the re-integration of Trinidad and Tobago on world tourism stage helping the economic development of the country by a 2% in GDP per year, in Lao PDR case the contribution of European Council on Tourism and Trade support offered a growth of 7% in the GDP of the country and in Zimbabwe, according to early estimates a growth in the budgetary recipes of the state of 12% was registered.
Briefing regarding 2015-The European Year for Development.
2015 was designated European Year for Development under a European Parliament decision. The European Council on Tourism and Trade approved by the voice of H.E. President Anton Caragea to endorse this decision and to encompass in the World Best Tourist Destination for 2015 and World Capital of Culture and Tourism in 2015 the principles of supporting development economies.
European Union is the largest donor of assistance for development in the world, offering more than half of the assistance provided at world level.
The President Office of The European Council on Tourism and Trade had released the fallowing communique regarding the start of the Development Year 2015.
The press release states that: the main world tourism organization-European Council on Tourism and Trade marks the opening of the first ever European Development Year in 2015, an opportunity to bring development related subjects to public attention such as EU countries role and responsibilities, as European Union Member State, as part of global development and poverty eradication efforts.
Thus, for the European Year for Development 2015, the European Council on Tourism and Trade intends to undertake, jointly with its partners, information activities for European citizens concerning international cooperation for global development and its importance.
European Council on Tourism and Trade is also considering promoting institutional contributions within the European Union towards world development and stimulating active interest and involvement of European citizens in action devoted to diminishing poverty in the world.
During the European Year for Development 2015, the European Council on Tourism and Trade will continue to promote his main diplomatic agenda in domains such as: tourism as a tool for development, good governance, strengthening democracy and the rule of law, economic development, diplomatic tourism, education, health and environment protection.
The European Council on Tourism and Trade supports solidarity with developing states by a responsible, results – oriented foreign policy, and an integrated, coordinated approach to assistance for development at global level.
This is the first European Year devoted to a relevant area of European Union foreign policy and its role in the world context.
On the venue of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014 official function held in Zimbabwe`s capital Harare, the Director of European Tourism Academy- Academician Mircea Constantinescu has officially presented the insignia and certificate of membership to European Tourism Academy most recent elected member-The Minister of Tourism and Industry of Republic of Zimbabwe-Walter Mzembi.
Here is Academician Mircea Constantinescu declaration on this solemn occasion:
We are here to award to Dr. Walter Mzembi, the Minster of Zimbabwe, the Academician status and Medal of Honor, by the European Tourism Academy.
Director of European Tourism Academy-Professor Dr. Mircea Constantinescu makes the laudatio for Walter Mzembi-Minister of Tourism of Zimbabwe
We may say from the beginning that the curriculum vitae as well as the entire activity of dr. Walter Mzembi are remarkable and represent a very successful combination between high level knowledge and expertise, and efficient action implemented in different areas of the public service.
Dr. Walter Mzembi is a very resourceful person and a man of many talents.
His initial activity in the area of mechanical engineering, mining activity, water resources engineering, development and management, land resettlement and agro industrial management provided him with extensive knowledge and expertise. This is also a confirmation that his doctorate in management is well deserved.
The studies and diploma in Business and Governance studies of Dr. Walter Mzembi gave him credentials for being a knowledgeable member of the Zimbabwe government and of the different Parliamentary bodies and committees.
Dr. Walter Mzembi is at the same time a great patriot. He loves his country, Zimbabwe, and the people of Zimbabwe.
He put his enthusiasm, energy and knowledge in making a better life for the people and promoting the image of his country all over the world.
Senator Ionel Agrigoroaei bestow the Academician Medal for Academician Walter Mzembi
One may think that in a large and complex country like Zimbabwe, being a Minister of Tourism may be much easier than in other areas of activity. But what the international tourist visiting Zimbabwe nowadays might see is only the tip of the aisberg. Practically all the Zimbabwe economy is benefiting from and contributing to a successful tourism, making the tourism the third largest contributor to the Gross Domestic Product, after mining and agriculture sectors.
Dr. Walter Mzembi’s expertise in all these areas was extremely useful.
Mother Nature was generous with Zimbabwe. The numerous natural reservations represent a valuable asset and create a legal framework for preserving the natural resources and wonderful landscapes, as well as building a tourism structure. After our working trips and evaluations of many countries of the world, we know that only the beauty of a scenery does not make a tourist attraction and does not bring revenues to the people.
You need modern infrastructure, need people to provide services and stewardship, need financial and human resources, need communication and good will, and above all you need to be proud of your country.
Dr. Walter Mzembi knows all that, and since 2009 he and his team, with the support of the entire Zimbabwe government, developed and implemented a successful strategy for the Zimbabwe tourism.
Dr. Walter Mzembi is a born communicator and diplomat.
And this is not a pure laudation. The recognition of his merits in this area are confirmed by the appreciation of the Institute of Public Relations, by the African Travel Association, by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, by the Institute Of Cultural Diplomacy, and by many other national and international professional bodies.
But there are not the titles and diplomas that finally count, but the results, and Dr. Walter Mzembi, as Minister of Tourism of Zimbabwe got remarkable results since 2009. He realized that a continuous development of domestic tourism will not be enough. The tourism of Zimbabwe, as the entire Zimbabwe nation must be reconnected to the world.
It was not an easy task for a country that has been confronted with an unlawful isolation for more than a decade. The president Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwe Government and Parliament, supported by all the Zimbabwe people, played and essential role in installing again Zimbabwe into the great concert of the nations.
Dr. Walter Mzembi was part of this continuous effort of communication and diplomacy inside and outside the country, and his role as Minister of Tourism was important and with remarkable results.
So there is almost no surprise that with remarkable personalities like Dr. Walter Mzembi, Zimbabwe was nominated as the 2014 Best Tourist Destination by the European Council on Tourism and Trade, award handed over by President Dr. Anton Caragea during an official ceremony.
As a recognition of his contribution to the development of Zimbabwe tourism, we are proud to hand over the title of Academician member of Honor and to bestow the Medal Of Honor to his Excellency Dr. Walter Mzembi, Minister of Zimbabwe tourism, and to congratulate his as the newest academician of our European Tourism Academy.
In a festive ceremony the Minister of Culture and Sport of The Republic of Zimbabwe has received from His Excellency President of European Council on Tourism and Trade the FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION title for Republic of Zimbabwe as part of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION award ceremony held in Zimbabwe between 29 May-6 June 2014.
You can read in full extent the speech delivered on this momentous ceremony from the Office of The President of European Council on Tourism and Trade:
To all the people of REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE,
H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea delivering the speech for Zimbabwe-FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION IN 2014
I must say what a privilege is for the all mankind to honor a country that is becoming a FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION.
It is also a great pleasure to address our salute to the majestic people of Zimbabwe, a people that with spirit and mettle have united the south of African continent in the peerless civilization of Great Zimbabwe, that had left to the mankind the legacy of an indelible civilization, with hundreds of monuments of historical and world patrimony relevance, a strong and proud people that had offered to the world heritage countless blessings.
Today when we celebrate Zimbabwe as a cultural and touristic power house, we must not forget that the main credit belongs, without a doubt, to the all people of Zimbabwe irrespective of their race, color, political or religious orientation that from 1979 onwards have been constructing, defying unfathomable difficulties, a life of dignity, liberty and tolerance in a free country.
Today, we come to share the good news that Africa, that recently celebrated 50 years of African unity, has reasserted herself and we come to honor a country of REBIRTH , OF RENAISSANCE, in a world that forgets that the main reason of tourism is imbuing the travelers into local culture, to immerse them in the discovery of the history, we come today to Harare honor a TRUE CULTURE.
In a world that is loosing the true values, we come today the honor a real TOURISTIC PATRIMONY, in a time in which to many speak and do not act for protecting historical sites and environmental riches, we come to honor THE SEVEN WONDER OF TOURISM, we come to honor the Republic of Zimbabwe.
We come in this place of Hope, in this place where almost 35 years ago the end of segregation, of exploitation and of colonialism was cried out into the open and confronted with a new name: Harare!
Here, in the city that never sleeps we have all gather to show our support for the values of humanity, of cultural driven tourism.
We are all here in the search for a country that offer to tourists a complete experience, a country that educates spirit, elevates soul and gives everybody a lesson in history and culture.
We all have found in ZIMBABWE the perfect teacher in tourism, offering to all tourists of the world the possibility of a safe, pleasurable and enlightening touristic experience.
Among the reasons leading to awarding FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION IN 2014 title to REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE our report has taken under consideration:
– The promotion and support offered to a new concept of community natural protection supporting tourism friendly to nature, with low ecological impact and preservation of natural biodiversity and protection of endangered species and areas, especially rainforest south-African eco-climate.
– Offering to tourists the outstanding and pristine nature and the opportunity to explore nature, to contribute to ecological preservation and the opportunity to visit extraordinary space such as: the unique landscape of Victoria Waterfall, the National Parks as: Mana, Eastern Highlands from Manicaland, Mana Basins from West Mashonaland, Exfoliated Hills from Matebeland, Chilojo Cliffs, and Matobo Hills from Bulawayo etc.
– The preservation of an outstanding historical and cultural patrimony that comprises wonderful sites such as: cultural, historical and rich legacy of Great Kingdom of Zimbabwe, the preservation of the former capital of Shone Kingdom-Great Zimbabwe in Masvingo area with a world class fortification system and palatial complex from 12th century, these are offering a rare insight for tourists into one of the greatest civilization of pre-colonial Africa and a rare window into traditions of centuries.
– Today, REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE is creating and offering for tourists an open air museum, a rare collection of historical and archeological treasures that educate and enrich the world.
– – The preservation of cultural and natural sites of world significance and value such as: Great Zimbabwe National Monument (added to UNESCO list in 1986), Khami Ruins National Monument (added to UNESCO list in 1986), Matobo Hills (added to UNESCO list in 2003), Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas (added to UNESCO list in 1984), Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls and UNESCO candidate regions as:Ziwa national monuments dating from Stone Age period,make destination Zimbabwe to offer an incomparable contribution to the world legacy.
Based on these facts that can be completed with many others, The European Council on Tourism and Trade decided, unanimously, to declare REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE – FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION in 2014.
Your Excellency Mr. President,
It is my great honor and privilege to hand over this title to the Minister of Culture and Sports of Republic of Zimbabwe, as an international recognition for all the people of Zimbabwe, all united in the service of protecting and preserving historical and civilization patrimony of your country, in fostering tourism and culture, in the service of the people of ZIMBABWE,
May this award be transformed in a support for developing the international standing of REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE, for a sustainable tourism and development and in a base for further success for A WORLD OF WONDERS –THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE.
Esteemed Minister of Culture,
It is my privilege to handover to you, as representative of culture of THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE, the award for FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION FOR 2014.