Soon after being named one of Lonely Planet’s “Top Ten Countries to Visit” this year, Ethiopia has announced that 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 it to Lonely Planet’s top ten list, is now seriously aimed at attracting North American visitors. The Ethiopian Tourism Organization, formed in 2014, has recently signed an agreement with New York-based CornerSun, which will represent and promote the destination to travel trade and media throughout the United States and Canada.
For its North American campaign, Ethiopia is 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.
Tourists around the world are apparently becoming aware of all that Ethiopia has to offer. In 2015, the country welcomed more than 800,000 visitors, a 12-percent increase over the previous decade. The numbers for 2016 are expected to top 900,000 and tourism officials are now hoping for a million visitors this year.