The Embassy of Ethiopia in Brussels organized an Ethiopian roadshow on the 10th of January 2017 at the major tourism fair Vakantiebeurs in Utrecht (The Netherlands) in collaboration with the Ethiopian Tourism Organization and Ethiopian Airlines’ Benelux office. The roadshow included a press conference for tour operators, journalists and the business community.
The Ethiopian stand was inaugurated by H.E. Teshome Toga, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Benelux, Baltic countries and EU and by Mr. Jemal Kidir, Deputy CEO of the Ethiopian Tourism Organization. During the press conference that followed, H.E. Teshome Toga said the Government of Ethiopia has re-organized the tourism sector based on the Ethiopian tourism policy. A new tourism brand called “Land of Origins” was also established. This new brand and tourism policy will support the promotion of the Ethiopian tourism sector and contribute to the economic and social development of the country.
The Ambassador also briefed the participants on the current situation of Ethiopia. In the wake of last year’s unrests, the flow of tourism had temporarily decreased. However, after the state of emergency entered into force on the 8th of October 2016, the inflow of tourists increased again. Moreover, the FDI and international and regional engagements of the country were fully maintained. This is the sign that Ethiopia is peaceful and that the situation is convenient for tourism. Accordingly, the Embassy has organized this tourism roadshow with the Ethiopian Tourism Organization, an institution mandated to promote the Ethiopian tourism industry, and with the Benelux office of Ethiopian Airlines.
Mr. Jemal Kidir, Deputy CEO of the Ethiopian Tourism Organization on his part said the government has taken the political decision of re-organizing the tourism sector with better capacity to develop the tourism industry. It is allocating significant budgets to develop the tourism infrastructure and attractions of the country. Mr. Jemal Kidir also mentioned the natural, cultural and historic attractions of the country, which already counts 28 tangible and intangible heritage sites. He invited the participants to visit Ethiopia, the origin of human kind, and requested them to convey the message to other potential visitors.
Mr. Bisrat Tedla, Ethiopian Airlines Manager for Benelux countries, and Mr. Dejan Petrovic, Ethiopian Airlines Sales and Marketing Manager for the Netherlands, further informed the participants about the airlines in general: 93 international destinations, among which above 12 destinations are in Europe and North America. In addition, the airline is flying to more than 20 local destinations. He also mentioned that Ethiopian Airlines is the largest and fastest-growing national carrier in Africa. Taking this opportunity, he invited the participants to fly Ethiopian, and assured them the airline is ready to serve them.
Tourists and tour operators which have recently visited Ethiopia confirmed that the country is peaceful, convenient for tourism and has numerous tourism destinations and attractions. They invited the participants to visit the country independently or in group. The press conference was concluded by a Q&A and a business networking session between the Ethiopian delegation and participants.
The Utrecht tourism fair, open from the 10th to the 15th of January 2017, is one of the largest tourism event in the Benelux with about 1,000 exhibitors and more than 120,000 expected visitors. Ethiopian coffee ceremony, national cuisine and folkloric music presented during the event inspired many exhibitors and visitors. Thus, the Ethiopian tourism roadshow at the fair was effective to promote Ethiopia’s image to the Benelux communities and could contribute to increase the inflow of tourists to the country.
Source: Embassy of Ethiopia, Brussels