The Ethiopian Tourism Promotion Forum Thursday in Doha highlighted Ethiopia’s rich heritage and diverse tourism offerings, making it an ideal “all-in-one” tourism destination.
The event, organised by the Ethiopian embassy in Qatar in partnership with Ethiopian Airlines and the Ministry of Tourism of Ethiopia, showcased the huge tourism potential of this African nation – also known as "The Land of Origin".
“Ethiopia is endowed with a wide variety of tourism potentials which include all-in-one tourism, that is in historical, religious, cultural, natural, and adventurous destinations,” Ethiopian ambassador Feisal Aliyi Abrahim said.
He cited the significance of Al-Nejashi Mosque, describing it as a sacred place in the north of the country, where he said the Sahabah of Prophet Mohamed found refuge.
Expressing a warm invitation, Abrahim encouraged collaboration between Qatar and Ethiopia aimed at promoting the country as a preferred tourist destination for visitors from the Middle East.
The envoy noted that Ethiopia is one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa as it witnessed significant developments in its tourism sector, including infrastructure improvements such as roads, hotels, resorts, and related facilities.
He underlined his country’s vast array of attractions, including nine Unesco World Heritage sites, the ancient walled city of Harar, the Axumite Kingdom's monuments, and natural wonders like the source of the Nile and the active volcano of Ertale.
Abrahim said that Ethiopia is where scientists found the oldest human species, noting that “Ethiopia, as a cradle of humanity, is home to a 2.2mn years old Lucy, a 3.33mn years old Selam, and a 4.4mn years old Ardi”.
“Once in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, tourists have an opportunity to visit their ancestors’ fossils and getting very overwhelming history of human being at the national museum”, he added.
Abrahim said the pleasant climate of Ethiopia, with temperatures ranging from 15 to 28 degrees Celsius in most highland regions, makes it an ideal destination year-round. Tourism spots and attractions, he noted, can be easily accessed via land and air travel, with Ethiopian Airlines offering domestic routes.
Tewdros Derbew, Strategic Unit Coordinator of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Tourism, echoed the ambassador’s statement, saying that Ethiopia is blessed with “an incredible assortment of tourism resources, recognised by Unesco, both tangible and intangible”.
He highlighted Ethiopia's cultural mosaic, its status as the seat of the African Union, and its reputation as the birthplace of coffee and world-class athletes.
In his presentation, Derbew pointed out that Ethiopia is renowned for its beautiful artisanal craft products of diverse features such as jewellery, coinages, and metal works, as well as traditional leather crafts, and illuminated manuscripts. It also hosts colourful traditional festivals such as Timkey or Ethiopian Epiphany, Meskel, Gena, Ashenda, Shaday, and many more.
He said that Ethiopia’s current and potential tourism products include culture, wildlife, bird watching, MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions), desert expeditions, rock climbing, biking, running, trekking, and paragliding.
Surafel Saketa Geleta, area manager of Ethiopian Airlines, shared the airline's commitment to promoting Ethiopian tourism, as he announced ET-Holidays’ (in-house tour operator) aim of converting 20% of all transit passengers to visit Ethiopia.
He said ET-Holidays would use the Ethiopian Skylight Hotel properties to promote Ethiopian tourism and will be a catalyst leader in increasing international tourist arrivals to 10mn by 2035. In Medical tourism, it will partner with internationally accredited hospitals and introduce medical travel packages to African destinations.
Feisal Aliyi Abrahim at the forum in Doha Thursday. PICTURE: Thajudheen
Surafel Saketa Geleta speaking at the event. PICTURE: Thajudheen