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Original ATA News Release
2007 Congress Agenda


Thirteen Months of Sunshine

A Tribute to Habte Selassie Tafesse,
The Man Who Invented Tourism In Ethiopia


donkeys and plane

 The Africa Travel Association honored former Ethiopian Minister of Tourism Habte Selassie Tafesse for his outstanding contributions to the development of Tourism in Ethiopia, at a Gala Dinner held at the Hilton Hotel, Addis Ababa. ATA (an international association of the travel industry promoting Africa in the United States) held its 25th Anniversary Congress in the Ethiopian Capital City. Above photo showing contrasting lifestyles in today's Ethiopia is compliments of Ethiopian Airlines from it's book "Binging Africa Together."

In recognizing the contributions of Mr. Habte Selassie Tafesse, popularly known as "the man who invented tourism in Ethiopia", Conference Chairman Hagos Legesse said, "Back in 1961, Mr. Tafesse introduced for the first time the concept of tourism in Ethiopia, when visitors were looked upon more as curious strangers rather than a source of important income to a developing nation." Mr. Tafesse coined the phrase, "Thirteen Months of Sunshine", in referring to the Ethiopian Calendar, which in turn provoked the imagination of visitors.

He played a major role in the creation of the Historic Route, which to this date has remained as the most popular segment of Ethiopia's tourist attractions. "The Historic Route" consists of the Blue Nile Falls, Lake Tana, Gondar, Lalibela and Axum. Conference Chairman Hagos Legesse summed up by saying, "Thanks to this man of vision, we now have the opportunity to visit and admire the great history and culture of ancient Ethiopia. To many of us he is a role model as the man of inspiration and action and he shall always be remembered as the pioneer of the Ethiopian Tourism Industry."

Photo Credit: Ethiopian Airlines