2015 and 2016 had being the years of travels for the American President.
After a highly publicised visit to Kenya and Ethiopia, a less visible lay over in Alaska and a fully flagged presidential vacation in Hawaii, March 2016 has brought the visit to Cuba and with it the hopes of a the Obama effect on tourism.
So it is time to add the numbers: Kenya after the US president visit registered a decrease of 10% in the number of the tourist arrivals according to Business Daily Africa, Cuba is yet to close to count, Alaska did not seem to have any tourists supplementary to count.
The only visit that is a clear success on tourism numbers remains Ethiopia. So far at least, the aficionados of Obama effect on tourism pick there hopes on the Cuban stay as another proof for non-believers. Let`s wait and see!
In the meantime lets review the Ethiopian tourism success story.
The month of July 2015 had entered in the annals of Ethiopian history, as a fast period filled with epochal achievements for the African country.
At the beginning of July 2015, the European Council on Tourism and Trade announced that had selected Ethiopia as WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION for 2015, the world highest tourism recognition, and between 9 to 15 July an European delegation led by ECTT President-Anton Caragea toured Ethiopia, followed, quickly after, by the arrival of US President Barack Obama for a three-day visit (27 to 29 July 2015) in Addis Ababa. This chain of connected events, succeeded in putting the country on the limelight of international trade and tourism, and in the forefront of international diplomacy.
We present to you the chronic of the two visits that marked Ethiopia`s place in recent African history.
On the landmark occasion, of the universal proclamation of World Best Tourist Destination for 2015, a top ranking delegation from European Council on Tourism and Trade was invited for a discovery tour of Ethiopia, the receiver of this year most influential tourism designation.
We are WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION is the hymn of Ethiopia ! A perfect song for a perfect destination!
The visit took place between 9 to 15 July, 2015 and included an important political and diplomatic dimension, with European Council on Tourism and Trade President -Professor Dr. Anton Caragea holding discussions with Minister of Trade-Yaekob Yalla,Minister of Foreign Affairs-Berhane Gebre-Christosand H.E. Amin Abdulkadir – Minister of Culture and Tourism of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopiaand an inclusive and profusely dialogue with Prime Minister of F.D.R. Ethiopia- Academician Hailemariam Desalegn.
Ethiopia tourism is having a perfect future ! with the hand shake between Prime Minister of Ethiopia-Hailemariam Desalegn and ECTT President-Professor dr. Anton Caragea.
The inclusive dialogue, concentrated on promoting bilateral trade, investment and economic cooperation, supporting business people and firms from both regions in cooperating and promoting the exchange of techniques, skills and economic goods.
United States President Barack Obama at the Gala Dinner in Addis Ababa
United States President Barack Obama hold meetings with Ethiopian Prime Minister-Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopian Minister of Culture and Tourism-Amin Abdulkadir and Ethiopian President and was treated with an official dinner by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.
Gala dinner for European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) President and his high ranking delegation. (from right to left): Minister of Culture and Tourism – Amin Abdulkadir, H.E. Prime Minister – Academician Hailemariam Desalegn, H.E. ECTT President – Professor Dr. Anton Caragea , Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia-Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
On diplomatic arena a cooperation and further developing of honorary consul’s network across the world, was established, with a view to foster tourism, cultural and economic cooperation.
Creating a network of Ambassadors for Tourism and Culture, promoting tourism and the image of Ethiopia, where also tabled, based on other successful examples of actions of tourism promotion carved by European Council on Tourism and Trade.
ETHIOPIA IS THE LAND CHOSEN BY GOD ! an WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2015 proclaimed President Professor Dr. Anton Caragea.
On July 10, 2015 European Council on Tourism and Trade President -Professor Dr. Anton Caragea had presented the World Best Tourist Destination for 2015 insignia to Prime Minister of Ethiopia- Academician Hailemariam Desalegn.
H.E. ECTT President – Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, Minister of Culture and Tourism – Amin Abdulkadir,H.E. Prime Minister – Academician Hailemariam Desalegn, are directing the proceedings for World Tourism Awards Ceremony for 2015.
The President also presented the main speech of the world tourism ceremony titled: Ethiopia-the land chosen by God!
European Tourism Academy Director- Academician Mircea Constantinescu, announced also that after receiving the letter destined to World Leaders of Tourism-Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will represent Ethiopia, as the newest honorary members of European Tourism Academy.
Academician Mircea Constantinescu, Director of European Tourism Academy is presenting the Honorary Academician Title to Prime Minister of Ethiopia- Hailemariam Desalegn.
The ceremony for World Best Tourist Destination for 2015 included also folk dances, Ethiopian traditional coffee ceremony and academic presentations, supported by leading figures of Ethiopian cultural establishment.
H.E. Prime Minister and Academician Hailemariam Desalegn and European Council on Tourism and Trade President- Professor Dr. Anton Caragea in the center of Ethiopian government and European Council on Tourism and Trade visiting delegation.
In the mean time President Barack Obama schedule contained a visit to African union headquarter and a meeting with African Union chairwoman and a visit on the streets of Addis Ababa and a tour of the Faffa Food factory in Ethiopia`s capital and a tour of the National Palace where WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION ceremony for Ethiopia was held.
No visit in Ethiopia is complete without paying a visit to Lucy-the grandmother of humanity: President Barack Obama on the first photo and President Dr. Anton Caragea on the latter photo.
The ceremony for World Best Tourist Destination in 2015 was live broadcasted and viewed by more than 200 millions viewers and will continued to be presented across Europe for the next year.
Axum Cathedral: the place of coronation for Emperors of Ethiopia. The last emperor to be crowned here was Haile Selassie I
From 10th July, the European Council on Tourism and Trade President and his delegation embarked in a cultural and tourism program visiting Axum-the first capital of Christian Africa and the centre of a world power in 100 to 400 BC that controlled trade across the Read Sea.
Anton Caragea-President of European Council on Tourism and Trade looking over Axum-the first capital of Ethiopian empire (300 a.Chr.)
In Axum, the delegation visit the royal tombs, the Church of the Arch of Covenant, the Saint Mary Imperial Basilica, where the emperors of Ethiopia were crowned.
Specially for European delegates, were opened the gates of the imperial museum, containing the priceless treasures of ten Ethiopian emperors from garments, to crown adorned with jewels and the robes used for imperial investiture.
From Axum, the old imperial city, the delegation led by President Anton Caragea has being directed to Gondar, the capital of Ethiopia from XVII century to XIX century.
Here they have a chance to admire the fiery Amharic dances, in a wonderful welcoming ceremony, offered by the local authorities, enjoyed the fabulous gondarine cuisine at famous Four sisters’ restaurant and toured the imperial city.
European Tourism delegation is touring the outstandingly preserved Imperial compound of Gondar- Ethiopian empire capital from 17 to 19 century. Behind is the the world famous Fasil Ghibli-Palace of Emperor Fasilides.
Gondar is also world renamed for his architecture and for housing almost ten emperors, in a period of glory for Abyssinia, as Ethiopia was known in that time.
Garnering Portuguese influence, with Indian and English architectural designs, Gondar is nicknamed as African Camelot for his strange, but perfect architecture.
Welcoming in Lalibela with flowers and the beautiful children of Ethiopia: Anton Caragea- European Tourism President and European Senator Ionel Agrigoroaei.
European Council on Tourism and Trade delegates were received with a religious ceremony in Lalibela, the holiest Christian city in Africa and the second Jerusalem, as in worldly known.
More than 5000 pilgrims, priests and deacons, welcomed President Dr. Anton Caragea and offered to him and his delegation, special ceremonial robes, to mark their entrance in the holy city.
European Tourism President-Dr. Anton Caragea addressing to priests, pilgrims and believers at Lalibela-the capital of Christian Africa.