August 27, 2015

 During the European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) official visit to Ethiopia, ECTT President, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, met with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Foreign Minister, Tedos Ghebreyesus, State Minister, Berhane Gebre-Christos, Yaekob Yalla, Minister of Trade and Minister of Culture and Tourism, Amin Abdulkadir, to create a climate favorable for tourism and trade development and for awarding to the people and Government of Ethiopia, the world most important recognition for tourism advancement-WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD FOR 2015.

(Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 9-15 July 2015).


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-Christos and H.E. Amin Abdulkadir – Minister of Culture and Tourism of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and 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.


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.

During his official visit, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea met for an extensive dialogue Prime Minister Desalegn Hailemariam, who, on the occasion of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION CEREMONY FOR 2015, was presented with the WORLD LEDERS OF TOURISM LETTER of European Council on Tourism and Trade, calling on Heads of States and Government to “promote peace and world development via the tourism sector”.


ECTT and Ethiopia have agreed to reinforce their collaboration in the areas of tourism promotion, management of tourism product development, and cultural marketing strategies, as agreed in the discussions between Professor Dr. Anton Caragea and the Minister of Tourism and Culture of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Mr. Amin Abdulkadir.




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.



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.


 Dances and flowers: welcoming at Gondar airport, European delegates with Mayor Getinet Amare. 


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.


On this occasion, President Anton Caragea held his gratitude speech known as: To The People of Lalibela, a discourse that quickly captured the imagination of the inhabitants of Lalibela.


An impressive tour of six of the eleven rock hewn churches was conducted, including the famous grave of Saint Lalibela, the church of Medhane Alem (Our Saviour) and Holy Cross Church.



Lalibela is a city greater than words, nothing can prepare you for his atmosphere and nothing can describe it!-President Professor Dr. Anton Caragea.


In the final leg of the trip, European Council on Tourism and Trade President and his party were treated with a wonderful welcoming to the bustling and sunny south of Ethiopia and with his famous Lake District city of Hawassa.


The delegates were welcomed to music and a fire display by the head of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State of Ethiopia and enjoyed a tour of Lake Hawassa, a discovery of the city landmarks and a special night show that touched their hearts.


 Boat trip along the Hawassa lake shores.


The Rift Valley Lakes of Ethiopia are an internal sea, that can be perfectly used for tourism and leisure.



A special surprised was offered by HE. Minister of Culture and Tourism of Ethiopia, Amin Abdulkadir, who arranged for ECTT President Dr. Anton Caragea delegation a special discovery tour of Harar-the fourth most holy Islamic site.


Mihai Prundianu, ECTT Trade Chairman pose for a photo in front of famous Harar landmark-Grand Jami Mosque.


The city comprises more than 82 mosques and 4000 saints tombs known in the Islamic world as Medinat Al Awliya- the city of saints and a UNESCO heritage site.


The delegates were welcomed with a coffee ceremony and a tour of famous city enclosure, known as Jugal, and a visit to famous French poet Arthur Rimbaud house in Harar.

 A short moment of tranquility in a dense schedule: in a famous traditional Gay Ger (house) in Harar.


The visit, to extraordinary city of Harar, was the perfect gift for our delegates, appreciated Professor Dr. Anton Caragea.


The European delegation official visit to Ethiopia is a sign of the country inclusive development, political, clout and prominence in Africa and a mark of the country taking the rightful place that is deserved amidst the most cultural and historical developed country in the world, concluded his remarks, President Professor Dr. Anton Caragea.

The Government of Ethiopia had succeeded in developing the country tourist infrastructure, in insuring security for tourism facilities and is proposing for the next year`s a number of strategic decisions to further develop the country’s tourism sector.

The Government of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn is anticipating that tourism will become the main country foreign currency earner with the necessary investment in infrastructure, on destination promotion and product development, through the recently established Tourism Transformation Council.






Hawassa City of Diversity


Mrs. Almaz Beyero-Head of Bureau for Culture and Tourism of SNNPRS


Sidamo Cultural Tower


President Anton Caragea at Lalibela Airport


President Dr. Anton Caragea receives Fesil Gebil macheta from Mayor of Gondar-Mr. Getinet Amare


President Dr. Anton Caragea received by Mr. Muhyadin Ahmed-Head of Harari Regional Culture ,Heritage and Tourism Bureau


European Council on Tourism and Trade high ranking delegation at World Best Tourist Destination Ceremony


Supplementary PR information and photos can be accessed here:

Photo Journal of the visit of President Dr. Anton Caragea to Ethiopia

European Delegation Journal of Travel in Ethiopia on Pinterest 


July 28, 2015

On the occasion of Addis Ababa Ceremony for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2015, the European Council on Tourism and Trade President – Professor dr. Anton Caragea, had presented the principal speech outlining the reasons behind naming Ethiopia as the receiver of the world most prestigious tourism award.

Here is the full text of the Council President:


We have all gathered here, on the venue of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION CEREMONY to celebrate one of humanity most important achievements in the last centuries: and this is undoubtedly tourism.
Tourism had become, from just a tool for enjoyment and ludic preoccupation, a major part of human life.

Tourism is today an intricate part of our life, the need to share experiences, to search for unknown territories, to go further and further.

Tourism is inscribed in our fiber and it defines us, it make us human.
Tourism is now a major economic factor that helps countries to be developed and enrich themselves  in more than just the economic point of view.

Countries and people’s are rediscovering themselves by tourism.

Cultures are resurrected, history is brought to life and people are enjoying  new opportunities via tourism development.
An ambassador was considered, a few centuries ago, as a tourist entrusted with gathering knowledge and information’s about distant lands and in offering the image of his country to other people.

Today, in XXI century, all tourists are diplomats, building bridges of information, understanding and cooperation by simple experience of travel.

President Anton Caragea, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Minister of Culture and Tourism-Amin Abdulkadir

Presiding over WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2015: (from left to right): European Council on Tourism and Trade President-Professor dr. Anton Caragea, Prime Minister of Ethiopia-Academician Hailemariam Desalegn, Minister of Culture and Tourism of Ethiopia-Amin Abdulkadir.

In this new world, where tourism is economy, is diplomacy and is shaping people’s and nations destiny, there is no more important moment as the moment when world tourism is choosing his World Best Tourist Destination.
In some years our choice is driven by consumerist arguments, and this is normal as tourism is after all a major economic factor, but some time our decision must lead the way for tourists to discover and rediscover new lands and new cultures and must be a signal of re-emphasizing the need to put history, patrimony, cultural legacy at the fore of our decision.

Anton Caragea-European president looking at Axum

European Council on Tourism President looking over the ancient city of Axum.

We must never forget the fact that: the main duty of tourism is to enrich the soul and capture the imagination of traveler.

This is the rationale, the driving force, underlined by our decision to hail Ethiopia as the World Best Tourist Destination for 2015.

Tourists that will select, in this year and in the years to come, Ethiopia as their pristine destination, will have the chance of immersing themselves in the land from where humanity once sprinkled.

Here is where our grandmother to all, started her journey, almost 4 million years ago.

Her name was Lucy-Dinkenesh -she is wonderful (in translation)- as is the tender Ethiopian name .
Here, in Ethiopia, tourists can reconnect with God, as both the Kingdom of Axum and his later hair-Lalibela made a point of honor in creating the Christianity cradle of Africa. Here you can see God powerful deeds by the presence and ingenuity of Ethiopian people as in the stoned carved churches of Lalibela.

The legend goes that the angels themselves help the people build them and tourist with see that these angels still have a name and a face, in the faces of people of Ethiopia.

European Council on Tourism and Trade President-Professor Dr. Anton Caragea is presenting the allocution: ETHIOPIA-THE LAND CHOSEN BY GOD!-World Best Tourist Destination for 2015.

The legacy of Muslim creeds can also be found in the Sheik Hussein Religious, Cultural and Historical Site and many others holy sites in Harar.

All this is making Ethiopia the ideal destination for people’s searching their connection with God, in quest for their peace of mind and soul or maybe just the beauty of religious artifacts.

European Council President Dr. Anton Caragea speking to the people of Lalibela

Dr. Anton Caragea ECTT President addressing the peoples of Lalibela-The center of african christianity.

Should I just recall that: this is the unique place where you can go in search of the Arch of the Covenant, as a modern Indiana Jones or just as a traveler searching for spiritual adventures?

Because thus is Ethiopia today: a spiritual adventure, a discovery trip that must not be overlooked and that is richly deserving the appellative of World Best Tourist Destination.

I will not linger too much on detailed description of all the UNESCO heritage sites existing in Ethiopia or on the long list of region and cities awaiting their inscription on world heritage list.

I will just emphasize how rare is a country offering such a diversity of cultural, historical and natural beauties as Ethiopia.

Here in Ethiopia you can find the cradle of humanity, cradle of religions, cradle of culture and why not? Cradle of agriculture.

Harar Traditional House

European delegation has a lay-over in a traditional harari house (Gay Ger) 

We must not forget that thirty-six of world crops are originating from Ethiopia as their starting point in our food.
Let just imagine a world without coffee. I know is difficult, but without Ethiopia the long way of coffee would have not existed.

Ethiopia is not a distant place, you can discover it in any cup of cafe, in any taste of wheat or barley, they all must whisper to you: come to Ethiopia, come to where humanity started, come home !

Yes, in our decision to crown the jewel of Africa-Ethiopia as World Best Tourist Destination we did not forget for a moment that we are not encouraging people to go in a far or distant place.

No!  We are just telling them to come home, to rediscover their roots, their house-Ethiopia.

We must also mark down Ethiopia as an example for tourism revenues distribution and to encourage tourist, travelers or just prospective tourists to invest in local artisans creations.

Tourism revenues are helping communities to develop, are helping people restarting their lives, protecting cultural landscape and historical legacy.

Coming as a tourist in Ethiopia is not just a self rewarding adventure, but is also an opportunity to make a responsible tourism, a fair trade tourism, supporting local communities and poor rural areas.

It is a perfect example of social tourism, that we must command and support and specially promote.

We are hailing Ethiopia also a Favorite Cultural Destination for 2015 and with good measure also, as we just inscribed as intangible cultural and tourism patrimony heritage the Ethiopian coffee ceremony and shimgalina-the specific Ethiopian concept of learning and amicability.

The coffee ceremony is not only celebrating the first coffee planted and presented to the world by Ethiopian people, but is also a ceremony destined to showcase the hospitality, the traditions, the desire to offer the best to travelers and passerby alike.

In this ceremony, we can observe the people character and way of treating with dignity and care their guests.

I must also remark another component of intangible cultural and tourism patrimony heritage of Ethiopia- the concept of shimgalina, offering another mark of inter-community dialogue and acceptance, of tolerance and friendship, that explains in full how Ethiopia can unite people’s, can give them the sense of historical unity and bind them together in love.

This concept is also a fundament of Ethiopian history and development, a secret to ingratiate in a polite and correct manner, that makes tourist feel at home in this wonderful country.

As Ethiopia is in itself a succinct compendium of humanity history and traditions, I could go one for hours, underlining the many reasons why crowning Ethiopia today as World Best Tourist Destination it is just a normal act of recognition.

The recognition of a country so rich in culture and promises for tomorrow, a nation that it becomes the embodiment of the tourism for the future, of the tourism for knowledge and experiences, of tourism that is leaving us richer in conscience and soul.

The story of Ethiopia continues and is writing today a new and remarkable page: the page of tourism and cultural success, the page of Ethiopia as WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2015.

Dinner in honor of European Council on Tourism and Trade President

Dinner honoring WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2015: (from left to right): Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, European Council on Tourism and Trade President-Professor dr. Anton Caragea, Prime Minister of Ethiopia-Academician Hailemariam Desalegn, Minister of Culture and Tourism of Ethiopia-Amin Abdulkadir.

Your Excellency Mr. Prime Minister and European academician-Hailemariam Desalegn,

It is my great honor and privilege to hand over this title as an international recognition for all the people of Ethiopia, all united in the service of protecting and preserving historical and civilization patrimony of your country, in fostering tourism and culture, in the service of the people of  ETHIOPIA,

As I often say and hope, that this title must be regarded as a challenge, as from now on  we are expecting your country and people exertions in the  benefit of the world culture and tourism.

I hope that: this lofty rostrum will be transformed in a support for developing the international recognition of FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA, for a social oriented tourism and development and in a base for further success for THE LAND CHOSEN BY GOD himself – ETHIOPIA.

It is my privilege to handover to Your Excellency, as the most representative   leader of people and tourism of FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA the award for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2015.