Ethiopia, the only African nation to make Lonely Planet’s “Top Ten Countries to Visit” list, is now getting serious about attracting North American visitors.

By Monica Poling (TravelPulse) |

On the heels of being named one of Lonely Planet’s “Top Ten Countries to Visit” this year, Ethiopia has announced it is establishing a tourism marketing presence in North America.

“Ethiopia is as exotic as countries come,” enthuses Lonely Planet.

Ethiopia, the only African nation to make Lonely Planet’s top ten list, is now getting serious about attracting North American visitors.

The Ethiopian Tourism Organization (ETO), formed in 2014, has recently inked an agreement with New York-based CornerSun, who will represent and promote the destination to travel trade and media throughout the United States and Canada.

For its North American campaign, Ethiopia launching the brand message, “The Land of Origins,” a multi-faceted nod to the country’s diverse history and culture. The oldest polity (state) in Africa, Ethiopia is the home of Lucy, the world’s oldest hominin (humanoid) skeleton. It is also the land from which the Blue Nile emerges and, of course, it is the origin of the world’s coffee.

It seems that tourists around the world are cluing into all that Ethiopia has to offer. In 2015, the country welcomed more than 800,000 visitors, a 12 percent increase over the previous decade. For 2016, those numbers are expected to top 900,000. And tourism officials are now hoping for a million visitors this year.

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