Habeteselassie Tafesse who coined previous tourism brand '13 months of sunshine' and dubbed as the father of Ethiopian tourism, gets recognition for his excelled contribution to Ethiopia's tourism development and growth.
The Amharic version of the new tourism brand 'Ethiopia, Land of Origins' was introduced as 'Midre Kedemt' yesterday at 4th regular meeting of Ethiopian Tourism Transformation Council.
Ethiopia's is not benefiting more from the sector.
In 2013, the government established the Ethiopian Tourism Organisation (ETO) - mandated to boost tourism destination development and marketing, and enhance the benefits of tourism in a sustainable and competitive manner. This signalled a decision to take tourism seriously as a means of generating revenue and helping eradicate poverty.
"There are many reasons tourism took a back seat but the number one thing was getting the basic infrastructure in place," said Solomon Tadesse, the chief executive of ETO. "Now, the government can fully get behind it based on the economic growth of the last 10 years, with the added benefit of how this has also created a good impression with the outside world."
Tourism in Ethiopia currently generates $2.9bn for the economy each year, close to a million jobs and about 4.5 percent of the gross domestic product, according to the World Bank.
That percentage, however, trails the likes of Rwanda's 9 percent of GDP, and tourism accounting for about 11 percent of global GDP. In 2013, a travel and tourism competitive index compiled by the World Economic Forum ranked Ethiopia's tourism industry as 120th globally and 17th in Africa.
"We know we are behind our neighbours and need to run and catch up," Tadesse said.
Most of Ethiopia's tourism treats - including nine UNESCO World Heritage sites, the most for an African country - are fragile and risk being destroyed by hordes of tourists, Iori noted.
An additional concern is that a too rapid an increase in tourists could also lead to cultural clashes between locals and foreigners, resentment towards tourism for benefiting only the elite few, segregation of local societies, spiralling prices, money grabbing locals and increased crime.
"Generally it's up-market tourism that works seamlessly, with the cheaper end that gives problems, and at the moment Ethiopia does not know which way to go," said someone involved in Ethiopian tourism for more than 10 year who asked not to be named, adding that mass tourism for Ethiopia could put its "golden goose in the pot".
Those holding such concerns hope that Ethiopia takes a more sustainable, lower volume option - compensating lower numbers by selling a higher quality product at a higher price - while tackling the weak operational state of its tourism industry to ensure adequate facilities exist for tourists who respond to new, more proactive marketing.
For now, finding what are in other tourist-bound countries basic facilities - a well-maintained public toilet, a decent camping site, a rest spot with basic catering facilities - typically proves a frustrated endeavour in the likes of Ethiopia’s national parks and on much of its tourist trail.