(TRAVPR.COM) Belgium – July 7th, 2015 – On June 25, 2015 the General Assembly of the European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT), has taken under consideration the list of candidates for World Best Tourist Destination for 2015”.
Academician Dr. Mircea Constantinescu, Director of European Tourism Academy presented the list of candidates and the list of reports and accompanying reports for each of the 31 countries registered candidatures.
Professor Dr. Mircea Constantinescu presented also the figures regarding previous award winner for 2014-The Republic of Zimbabwe who become the most sought after destination and the number one country in Africa, in term of tourism growth for last year.
Lao PDR- 2013 winner of “World Best Tourist Destination”- also crossed the 3 million tourist bench mark, surpassing all the countries in the region in terms of tourism, concluded Academician Mircea Constantinescu.
Afterword, the debate on the “World Best Tourist Destination for 2015” started at the indication of ECTT President-Professor Dr. Anton Caragea.
On the debate for the “World Best Tourist Destination for 2015”, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, President of European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) presented a report titled: “Ethiopia: The Perfect Cultural Destination; The Land Chosen by God!”
He proposed Ethiopia as the winner of “World Best Tourist Destination for 2015” and as receiver of the “Favorite Cultural Destination” distinction for 2015.
The report noted the reasons for awarding “World Best Tourist Destination for 2015 Prize” to Ethiopia:
- The excellent preservation of humanity landmarks such as: ruins of the city of Aksum- the heart of ancient Ethiopia, Fasil Ghebbi- the residence of the Ethiopian emperors during the 16th and 17th century, Harar Jugol- 82 mosques, 102 shrines, and unique interior design in the townhouses, Lalibela- holy site encompassing eleven medieval stone carved churches from the 13th century, Konso Cultural Landscape (containing 55 kilometers of stonewalled terraces and fortified settlements), Lower Valley of the Awash-where humanity made his first steps and where was found the Eva of all mankind-Lucy fossil’s, Lower Valley of the Omo also containing fragments pertaining to early humanity development and the fossils of Homo Gracilis.
All this sites where recognized as being of world significance and registered as UNESCO World heritage monuments.
- The rich cultural and historical legacy of Ethiopia is not confined to the previous presented list: new prominent landmarks are added such as: Sheik Hussein Religious, Cultural and Historical Site, Melka Kunture- Paleolithic site in the upper Awash Valley, Gedeo Cultural and Natural Landscape, Bale Mountains National Park, Sof Omar Cave- the longest cave in Ethiopia at 15.1 kilometres long; and the longest system of caves in Africa-sacred for Islam and for local Oromo population.
In order to fully grasp the natural potential of Ethiopia natural parks and natural reservations we must look at the potential of Simien National Park garnering mountain peaks, deep valleys, and sharp precipices dropping about 1,500 m.
- The ambitious plan drafted by the Government of Ethiopia under the name of Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). Tourism as a tool for poverty eradication, for local community development and for economic independence is a successful strategy carved by H.E. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
Community based, social oriented tourism, promoted by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, is a perfect way of sharing revenue, growing income and supporting marginal and rural communities development.
The way in which socila-tourism has become the base for local economic development, providing benefits to communities, makes social-friendly tourism, the lesson that today-the REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA is offering to the world.
- Giving tourists access to outstanding and pristine nature and the opportunity to explore nature, to contribute to ecological preservation, and the opportunity to visit extraordinary places.
All these regions and national parks, are a model of achieving ecological and green tourism that must be recognized throughout the world.
- The ongoing development and protection of cultural, religious and historical shrines of the Republic of Ethiopia, the transformation of Lalibela into a historical and spiritual center, offering to the visitors a glimpse into rich culture and heritage of peoples of Ethiopia.
Lalibela is the land of faith and miracles that must be presented to the world as a center of religious and faith significance equal to Jerusalem only in the world.
Lalibela must be the center of religious pilgrimage and cultural tourism offering to world tourists the complex healing experience of cultural legacy, religious special atmosphere and faith imbued air.
- The preservation of outstanding historical and cultural heritage in the form of the former capital of the Kingdom of Ethiopia, the Gondar cultural complex, an ample palatial complex from the 13th Century, offering a pungent presence of one of the African greatest empire.
- Today, Gondar castle complex offers tourists bound for Ethiopia an open air museum with a rare collection of historical and archaeological treasures that educate and enrich the world.
- The Republic of Ethiopia is also a perfect center for safari and adventure tourism, offering large areas suitable for this special kind of tourism, and the necessary infrastructure to welcome the adventure seeker, its safety and peace, makes the country, one of the world’s top adventure destinations.
- Keeping alive community blending traditions, allows tourists and visitors to be part of the Ethiopia unique people’s ethnic fabric, which offers the possibility for an enriching cultural experience, are all achievements that make the Republic of Ethiopia a perfect cultural class destination.
Mr. Mihai Prundianu, Chairman of the Trade Mission of the ECTT, marked the necessity that, out of the regular order, to have another African country declared as “World Best Tourist Destination” in sign of continuity for last year and as appreciation mark for President Robert Gabriel Mugabe , the current President of African Union and Zimbabwe Tourism Minister-Walter Mzembi.
This year we have to select another African country to mark Europe and world solidarity with Africa and Africa`s Union President Robert Mugabe.
It is appropriate for Europe to express its commitment to, and appreciation for, Africa by crowning Ethiopia as “The Favorite Cultural Destination and World Best Tourist Destination for 2015” stated Chairman Mihai Prundianu.
Senator Ionel Agrigoroaiei, Director of European Parliamentary Committee in the European Council on Tourism and Trade and Senator of Romanian Parliament stated the opinion of all present at ECTT conference and declared that the Republic of Ethiopia is the deserving candidate, with a perfect record of promoting social-friendly tourism, ecological and poverty reduction strategy based on tourism, and asking for a unanimous vote in favor of the Republic of Ethiopia.
President Dr. Anton Caragea asked for a vote and European Council on Tourism and Trade decided, unanimously, to award “World Best Tourist Destination for 2015” Title to Republic of Ethiopia and to declare Republic of Ethiopia – “Favorite Cultural Destination in 2015.”
The meeting was also presented with the Official Invitation, from the Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of the Republic of Ethiopia via the Minister of Culture and Tourism Mr. Amin Abdulkadir, for a delegation of high ranking officials of the European Council on Tourism and Trade, to present the “World Best Tourist Destination Award” in Addis Ababa, in person, to His Excellency Prime Minister of Republic of Ethiopia – Hailemariam Desalegn, European Academician and outstanding personality in world tourism, today.
Concluding the debate, Professor Anton Caragea, President of the European Council on Tourism and Trade marked the importance of the moment the most impressive world tourism prize was entrusted to Ethiopia.
The safety of the country and the huge hospitality potential of Ethiopia is revealed by the acceptance of the invitation for a familiarization visit of high ranking members of European Council on Tourism and Trade to the Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is from today a perfect, safe and outstanding place to visit, the countries gates are opened and all world tourism experts expressed their confidence in the potential and future of tourism in Ethiopia, concluded Professor Anton Caragea, President of the European Council on Tourism and Trade.
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