Ethiopia tourism is one of the tops in Africa. Tourists prefer Ethiopia as a destination for various reasons. Ethiopia, also known in most history books as Abyssinia, is a landlocked country, located at the horn of Africa. It is a country with millions of years of archaeological findings, ancient castles, monasteries, tombstones, obelisks, and natural endeavors; it is the only independent nation of the whole continent; where the capital, ECA and OAU quarters reside.
Besides being the diplomatic capital of Africa, Ethiopia is mostly known for its long-distance runners, for having its calendar of 13 months, different cultures, ethnicities, and for consisting 70 % of the mountains in Africa (due to its higher altitude levels).
From a monarchy rule to a democratic country, Ethiopia or Abyssinia is one of the oldest civilizations to exist. It is the land where the notable archeological finding ‘Denkenesh’ or most commonly known as ‘Lucy’ is found. Ethiopia is also the only country in Africa that was never colonized by western civilization. The ancestral heritage is a proud and sovereign endeavor that holds intact the historical presence of the country.
Addis Ababa, in Amharic meaning ‘New Flower’ is the capital and largest city of Ethiopia. It is well known for also being the diplomatic capital for Africa since both headquarters of the African Union (OAU) and the United Nations Economic Commissions for Africa (ECA) reside in it. With an estimated population of 3,384,569 million people, it’s engrossed with a diverse frontage of both history and commerce.
Addis Ababa is valley land found between mountains, its precinct begins from the foot of Mount Entoto and grows radially inwards. It consists of 10 sub-cities, where Amharic is the official and common language to communicate. Ethiopia, in general, has over 80 nations and nationalities, whereas each states have their own distinct culture and way of life.
Dating back in history, Ethiopia has been found as one of the oldest countries in the world. According to skeletal fragments that were found proving that life had existed millions of years ago. Thus, it is believed that Ethiopia had originated around 980 B.C.
Ethiopia is a tourist attraction due to its various features of the natural setting of beautiful landscapes, rich biodiversity, paleontology, archeology, numerous mountains, and historical and living cultural leisure industries.
Based on these distinctive features, Ethiopia tourism includes of various aspects, such as historical Ethiopia tourism, cultural Ethiopia tourism, festivity Ethiopia tourism, archeology Ethiopia tourism, park Ethiopia tourism, paleontology Ethiopia tourism, geo-tourism, rural Ethiopia tourism, agro-biodiversity & coffee tourism, sports Ethiopia tourism and conference Ethiopia tourism.
Ethiopia’s various travel industry assets are across the board in practically all pieces of the nation and about 84% of the Ethiopian populace lives in agribusiness based employments. In this way, any travel industry advancement try should address these fundamental realities while structuring the travel industry improvement arrangement.
Right now, the significant obstacles in the travel industry improvement in Ethiopia include: profiting the travel industry assets as items to clients and enabling the network to be genuine players in the travel industry advancement procedure and make them recipients from the travel industry.
To conquer these larger issues twelve years of progressive research have been completed by experts from various branches of Addis Ababa University and have thought of the distribution of a book in Amharic with the accompanying significant segments: Developing essential layout that shows:
1) the a-b-c’s of how to delineate assets;
2) how to change the travel industry assets into the travel industry items;
3) how to enable nearby network through connecting with into the current socio-social, financial, and natural settings of the general public;
4) recognize network preparing requirements and offer fundamental preparation to a network to be a piece of the goal improvement and the executive’s procedure.
The book likewise manages issues of network money related help through gathering pledges and credit conspires and connecting Ethiopian the travel industry with neighborhood horticulture.
The book offers essential travel industry improvement managing from understanding the travel industry assets to changing them to the travel industry items and usage of network-based and naturally inviting the travel industry.
It unquestionably benefits all travel industry partners including the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, analysts, professionals, NGOs, the private division, higher learning organizations, specialized and professional schools, secondary schools, and the network by growth.
Ethiopia has various reasons as to why it is the destination to be at. With a total of 3 notable UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Ethiopia is a hub of archeological findings, natural endeavors, interesting settings and sceneries of cultural upbringings that travelers must explore. With over 3,000 religions, Ethiopia is also home to diversified beliefs/ faith.
It is a well-known fact that almost 70% of Africa’s mountains are found in Ethiopia. It is the ideal place for people who love to admire the natural setting of stunning landscapes. Mostly active and preferable on holiday seasons, due to its timely blossom, Ethiopia is an Eden for hikers; displayed from the peaks of the Simen Mountains to the arid array of flatlands in the Omo Valley.
Africa is also well known to be one of the richest continents in the world for biodiversity. Needless to say, Ethiopia being its capital hosts its rare animals and serves as one of its hubs for exhibiting biodiversity. With over 850 different bird species, it is famous Gelada baboon monkey species, Walia Ibex, Nyala, and the red fox, Ethiopia is an ideal country for travelers that love to explore nature.
Although it is interesting to explore nature, the outdoors and educating oneself about histories of the past, this is only part of the reason why many travel to Ethiopia. As the country in itself offers special volunteer opportunities to travelers that enjoy giving back to the community. It can either be through literacy works, educations, NGOs, currency, labor or service sectors, one can always explore the endeavors of helping out and experience to enrich both oneself and the community they visit.
Ethiopia Tourism Destinations
In aspect to Ethiopia tourism and travel, the country is rich; through providing historical landmarks, an insight of the past and carrying ancient cultures that live on through its countrymen; that later be unique features that identify the country.
In an idle world, the best way to tour a country is to explore the quality and culture of the people in the community. It is easier to understand the nature of how things are when one living a life blended in the community. Exploring a specific household in itself entails the general cultural scope of the country.
My idea of defining tourism, travel and the whole scope really, is to understand the way of life people in that environment encompass. Home is the best example one can show a traveler. It is easier and clear to understand the values and culture they’re enveloped in. A citizen is by itself a responsible sector to showcase and embellish the country’s traditional aspects.
Ethiopia Tourism Tips
Another suggestion is to travel on occasion, this country is more alive when embellished with festivities. The gathering of the society, the cultural values uphold the clothing, the food, all the vibrant features just simply create a beautiful scenery that is must-see. It’s one of those moments that do not last yet we yearn they do. Some of the events are annually celebrated while others range from time to time, religion, rituals, and beliefs; although all are commemorations of creating moments in time.
Ethiopia Tourism Top Places
These are the most common and famous tourist sites in Ethiopia: the Blue Nile falls, Lalibela, Aksum, Al-nejashi, Simen mountains national park, National Museum (Lucy), Lake tana, Erta ale, Gondar, Bahirdar, Harar, Dalol, Arba Minch, Mekele, Konsa, Lake Turkana, Jinka, Awassa, Turmi, Lake langano, Dire Dawa, yeha, Tiya, mago national park, Chama lake, bishoftu, debark, omo national park, zeway, lake abhe, abijatta Shalla national park, awash, shala lake, adigrat, lake afrera, lake karum, Debre Markos, Debre Berhane, Jimma, wirko, Gambella, goba, Dessie, shashemene Suria, kombolcha, Adama, omorate, lake Awassa.
Throughout Ethiopia, the most notable sites beloved by tourists and inscribed by UNESCO World Heritage Sites are the ruins of Aksum, the rock-Hewn Churches at Lalibela, Fasil Ghebbi or Castles of Emperor Fasiledas in Gondar Region, Jugol wall in Harar, the Fortified Historic Town Konso, Cultural Landscape Lower Valley of the Awash, Lower Valley of the Omo, Tiya, Simien Mountains National Park. These nine places are located in various parts of Ethiopia that have a rich history and distinguished livelihoods.
Having been the capital of both Africa and Ethiopia, Addis Ababa’s tourism potentials haven’t fully been explored nor exploited, as it’s a city rich in both culture and history but isn’t properly managed to render a way of exhibiting its capabilities. The city has more to offer in the universe of art and artifacts. Places like ‘Kechene Medhaniyalem’ and ‘Shiro Meda’ are based on these ideologies. The creative realm of the natives is expressed through clothing, furniture, and crafts; which also have become one of the major economic sources.
Sights to see in Addis Ababa are mostly limited to festivities, moments or events. Some examples are; National Museum of Ethiopia (where the archeological findings of Lucy or ‘Dinkinesh’ are found), Unity Park (recently opened, view to the imperial palace and residing home to the current prime minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed), Meskel square (for festivities and gatherings), Mount Entoto (hiking, monasteries, and view of Menelik II’s palace), Addis Mercato (Africas largest open market), 6-Kilo Addis Ababa University (previous home of Haile Selassie) and the Holy Trinity Cathedral (famous burial site, as it’s the resting place for Haile Selassie, his wife Menen Asfaw, the former prime minister Meles Zenawi and so on).
The best time and season to visit Ethiopia, besides being on holidays, ranges from October to June. As many rituals, beliefs and festivities occur during this time with a temperate climatic condition. Ethiopia appreciates a mellow atmosphere, with normal temperatures underneath 20°C in the good countries. This number can ascend past 30°C on the swamp edges of eastern, southern and western Ethiopia.
Forms of Ethiopia Tourism
There are many forms of Ethiopia tourism: historical tourism, cultural tourism, festivity tourism, archeology tourism, park tourism, paleontology tourism, geo-tourism, rural tourism, agro-biodiversity & coffee tourism, sports tourism and conference tourism. Here are some explained;
Conference tourism is one of the main opportunities that serve as an aid for the growth of tourism in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is the diplomatic capital for Africa since both headquarters of the African Union (OAU) and the United Nations Economic Commissions for Africa (ECA) reside in it. Thus conference tourism commences through the organizations of international or regional meetings held in the country.
Archaeological Ethiopia Tourism
Ever since the discovery of Lucy, Ethiopia has been known as the archeological hub of finding fossils. Centuries and millions of years’ worth of findings have been recorded and found in Ethiopia. A few significant finds have pushed Ethiopia and the encompassing locale to the cutting edge of fossil findings.
The most seasoned primate found to date in Ethiopia is the 4.2 multi-year old Ardipithecus ramidus (Ardi) found by Tim D. White in 1994. The most notable primate disclosure is Australopithecus afarensis (Lucy).
Most commonly & locally also known as Dinkinesh, is an example found in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia’s Afar Region in 1974 by archaeologist Donald Johanson. Lucy or Dinikinesh is one of the best saved & most complete grown-up Australopithecine fossils at any point revealed. Lucy’s scientific classification alludes to the area where the revelation was made. The primate is assessed to have lived 3.2 million years prior.
Cultural Ethiopia Tourism
Ethiopia is the cultural hub as it is home to almost 80 different nations and nationalities. Every place has its unique food and clothing, its exclusive taste, spices and way of dressing. The variation is mostly affected by the geographical area and their way of life.
Having had the national dish of Ethiopia is known as ‘Injera’ nowadays famous for its gluten alternatives, it is a soft pancake-like textured dish. The national clothing of Ethiopia is called ‘Habesha Lebis’ or ‘Habesha Kemis’, is a white cotton bread weave of cloth with different patterns & colors exuberated on it.
Festivities Ethiopia Tourism
It is obvious the best time to travel or tour a city is around festivals or holiday seasons. Starting from Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa is home to various festivities that is more celebrated and more active around Meskel Square. Meskel Square is an open site around the Stadium of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
It’s mostly used for public gatherings and commemorations, notably the orthodox holiday of Meskel, hence the name. Thus, due to places like Meskel square, Ghion, and Stadiums and so on, the city is more vibrant and alive around holidays or festivities. Meskel square festivities host almost all festivities including religious aspects for celebrating rituals of beliefs, entertainment aspects for concerts & exhibitions, and official gatherings for the public.
Ethiopia Tourism and the Economy
In economic terminology, the leisure industry or also referred to as the travel and tourism industry can do three main things. It invigorates improvement, entails an individual’s employment opportunities and professional possibilities and offers meaning of life to economies.
The effect of the travel industry on the national economy is very critical. The more extensive financial advantages of the area are especially significant since a large portion of the lodging; transportation administration, visit tasks and monetary middle people are claimed and worked by nationals.
Then again the import of a considerable lot of the contributions from abroad prompts critical spillages. On the social front, the travel industry has been liable for social trade encouraging the training of guests about Ethiopian history and culture.
The degree of improvement of visit organizations, lodging networks, and limited-time benefits in the part should be essentially improved in request to bundle the visitor experience all the more sufficiently.
The quantity of remote visitors visiting Ethiopia within the year 2016-2017 was accounted for to be 871,000, an excellent flood from earlier years.
However, the Ethiopian Ministry of Tourism and Culture anticipates that this could increment significantly further and predicts that there’ll be 2.5 million appearances for each year by 2020.
In 2018, Travel and Tourism contributed BIRR 202 billion US$7.4 billion to the nation’s economy, an expansion of BIRR 59 billion (US$2.2bn) in 2017. The world presently speaks to 9.4% of Ethiopia’s complete economy.
In 2018, the Ethiopian Travel and Tourism economy developed by 48.6%. This is often noteworthy development — actually, the most important on the earth as per the planet Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) whose yearly audit ascertains the cash related and social effect of the travel industry.
The improvement within the movement experience caused by the new eVisa assumed a serious job immediately. Talking in Accra, Ethiopian Airlines expressed that quite 200,000 vacationers utilized the eVisa framework to accumulate a movement approval.
Ethiopia Tourism and Transportation Service
Like in most countries, transportation in Ethiopia commences in three ways; road, air, and railways respectively. The major use of public transportation is the road, mostly by public buses and distinctive taxis that are blue with white straps in color. The taxis are minibusses that can accommodate 12 people per ride.
Traveling through the air is the best accommodation of the country’s transportation means. Ethiopian Airlines is the best airline in Africa as it offers a spectrum of fine quality and professionalism. In 2003, the current international airport of Addis Ababa was introduced to the public, whilst the old airport rendered to helicopter, small and military crafts. Also is the most effective means of traveling through Ethiopia, since it has poor infrastructures and isn’t quite safe.
Challenges and Opportunities of Ethiopia Tourism
Even though Ethiopia’s diverse cultural and physical features and resources offer & deliver exceptional opportunities for the growth of tourism, it comprises some challenges and opportunities along with it.
Some of its opportunities are mainly focused on creating an image of Ethiopia that could enhance tourism by exploiting the existing features in it or creating ones to do so.
This is made possible through mechanisms of becoming a world-class national carrier/ a member of star alliance, using the vast potential of conference tourism through indulging the presences of the OAU, UNECA, and other international or regional organizations meetings. It is also through expanding its regional market potential meaning the demographics of African middle class, using the abundance of trainable manpower, and increasing interest for regional integration.
Although it seems to have more optimistic opportunities for the future of tourism in Ethiopia to develop, it has many uncanny and evidentially harsh challenges to overcome first.
Some of which are strong competition at a global & regional level, lack of knowledge about tourism & its potential, low level of trained manpower, lack of focus, poor image set abroad, lacks of marketing and promotions i.e. poor advertisements and lack of infrastructure & service provided for tourists.
Stolen artifacts have been a century’s worth of challenge Ethiopia faced whilst conserving its tourism entities. It has proven to be its main challenge to preserve its artifacts and historical belongings most of which were lost or stolen during the reigns of the monarch systems. Although some might have been recovered, a vast of collections and numerous works of arts or historical endeavors have still not been returned to their initial place of discovery.
Recognition and Ethiopia Tourism
In 2015, Ethiopia was named the World’s Best Tourism Destination by the European Council on Tourism and Trade, due to its endeavoring natural aesthetics, faulty landscapes, and rich culture.
This year Ethiopia won the “Best Destination Archaeology & Ancient History” award held in Berlin, Germany. Also, Ethiopia’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, Dr. Hirut Kassaw has honored the award of ‘Best Tourism Minister’ from Pacific Travel Writers Association (PATWA).
The PATWA is an organization enveloped with travel writers that ensure the quality of travel and tourism. It was established in 1998 and since then, it has been hosting International Travel Awards once a year in March to create awareness for organizations or individuals that have contributed immensely to the tourism and travel sector.