Land of Origins: The Next Big Thing in Global Tourism

22 Apr 2019

Enchanting tourist attractions, unique diplomatic stature, and a thriving airline have placed Ethiopia, Land of Origins, on top of the world when it comes to tourism growth.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) annual review, the country saw the highest tourism growth in the world (48.6%), surpassing the global average growth rate of 3.9% and the African average of 5.6%. During the period, the sector supported 2.2 million jobs and contributed $7.4 billion to Ethiopia’s economy, an increase of $2.2bn on 2017.

The timeless charm of Ethiopia’s natural, cultural and historical tourist attractions has been driving an influx of tourists from far and wide. As the land where mankind, coffee and the Blue Nile trace their roots, Ethiopia has always been a fascinating destination for holidaymakers.

The country’s UNESCO-registered heritage including the majestic obelisks of Axum, the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela and the fortified historic town of Harar, have drawn visitors in droves. Added to this are the magnificent scenery and the unique wildlife riches, some of which are found only in Ethiopia.

As the Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions (MICE) tourism blossoms around the world, Ethiopia is also uniquely positioned to reap the benefits, owing to its unique place in Africa’s diplomatic landscape. Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa hosts the AU headquarters and the offices of UN-ECA among others. Addis is the toast of Africa and welcomes diplomats and executives from across the continent and the rest of the world. With its remarkable safety record and forward-looking infrastructure boom, today the city stands among the top capitals in the world, hosting major regional and global conferences.

Diplomatic Capital: African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa

As the main hub of the Pan-African carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, Ethiopia also enjoys convenient air connectivity with multiple destinations in Africa and the rest of the world, making travel to the country easier than ever before. The connectivity options the airline offers to travellers has made Ethiopia ever more accessible to the whole world.

The airline’s catalyst role has never been more impactful, as Gloria Guevara, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council commented:

“Ethiopia’s Travel and Tourism boom was one of the great success stories of 2018. It has exceeded our sector’s global and regional comparisons to record the highest level of growth of any country in 2018, driven by the very strong performance of aviation in the country and the development of Addis Ababa as a dynamic and growing regional hub.”

Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest carrier, today spreads its wings to 120 destinations throughout the world, with half the destinations in Africa. Thanks to Addis Ababa’s strategic location at the centre of the East-West lane and the ever-expanding service of Ethiopian Airlines, the city has emerged as the major gateway into Africa, surpassing Dubai.

The excellence of Ethiopian is also manifest in its hospitality and award-winning services. The carrier has been certified by SKYTRAX as a Four-Star Global Airline.

As Addis Ababa, the diplomatic capital of Africa continues to grow, the sky will be the limit for Ethiopia’s tourism growth in the years to come.

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