Over hundred tourism professionals, tour operators, journalists, diplomats and investors recently were gathered at the Press Club Brussels in Europe to learn more about Ethiopia’s cultural and tourism development. The event organized by the Embassy of Ethiopia in Brussels in collaboration with Forbes Africa Megazine and the Brussels Press Club aimed at promoting the good image of Ethiopia in Europe.
It was also to unveil the new tourism brand of Ethiopia dubbed as “Ethiopia, The Land Of Origins.” After an informative programme on Ethiopian tourism destinations, the guests enjoyed a cultural Ethiopian show, an Ethiopian coffee ceremony Ethiopian wine and Ethiopian traditional cuisine, according to the report filed by the Ethiopian Embassy in Brussels.
In his statement, Teshome Toga, Ambassador of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, to the Benelux, Baltic States and EU, reminded guests about Ethiopia’s distinct history and vivid culture, as well as of the country’s economic and social progress during the last 25 years.
Moreover, during the event, it was explained that the present situation in the country is completely safe for tourists. Following the restoration of sustainable peace and stability in Ethiopia, several countries have been encouraged to visit the country.
During the reported period, 439,359 tourists visited the country. And the profit made was over US$ 1.6 billion, the report stated.
Past achievements and current efforts have contributed to march forward on the country’s aim to become a leading tourism destination. A sign for this commitment is the establishment of a tourism policy, as well as a National Tourism Council chaired by the Prime Minister, which enabled a big push in this sector, and also an Ethiopian Tourism Organization whose mandate is to promote and develop the sector.
Luc Deckers, Guide and Accomp anying Staff at the Tour Operator Voyages ICTAM, gave a detailed testimony about his experience in the country. Deckers, who visits Ethiopia with groups from Belgium several times a year, emphasized how easy it is to move around the country compared to other countries because of the well established infrastructure. He also said that the hotel accommodation has improved spectacularly in the last years. He added that participants to his trips were often eager to visit the country a second and even a third time to make sure they explore all the attractions Ethiopia has to offer.
Szymon Jagiello, EU Correspon dent of the Forbes Afrique Magazine, also testified about the massive transformation the country had undergone in recent years based on efficient development policies.
Jean Paul Blavier, who runs and monitores the Castel Winery project in Ethiopia, explained how Castel’s 20-million euros investment was carried out starting 2007 and the way it positively contributed to change the image of Ethiopia in the whole world.
Bisrat Tedla, General Manager of Ethiopian Airlines Benelux, Office gave some insights about Ethiopian’s modern fleet and services, both in terms of international and domestic flights. Ethiopian Airlines is currently Africa’s largest airline in terms of revenue. Other specific features of Ethiopian Airlines are excellent on-time performance, high-quality on-board service and interesting fares for group travel.
After this formal programme, participants had the chance to witness and participate to Ethiopian traditional dances carried out by enthusiastic dancers dressed in traditional costumes, to admire an Ethiopian coffee ceremony and taste authentic Ethiopian cuisine, along with the unique Ethiopian Rift Valley wine. Through the evening, guests had the opportunity to get a genuine taste of Ethiopian culture and get a glimpse of what Ethiopia has to offer, and why it is a unique tourism destination.
It is recalled that Ethiopia has been chosen 2016 best tourism destination, with the dozens of its cultural and historical, tangible and intangible heritages registered in the UNESCO.
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