Ethiopian Tourism
Tourist attractions in Ethiopia:

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's collection of national parks (including Semien Mountains National Park), and historic sites, such as the cities of Axum, Negash Mosque, Sof `Umer Washa, Harar Jugoland Lalibela

Tourism in Ethiopia accounted for 5.5% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2006, having barely increased 2% over the previous year. The government is proving its commitment and willingness to develop tourism through a number of initiatives. Tourism is a featured component of Ethiopia's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), which aims to combat poverty and encourage economic development.

Ethiopia, dissected through its middle by the scar of the Great Rift Valley, is as old as time itself. It is a land claiming a history that goes back to the Old Testament.

Developed in the 1960s, tourism declined greatly during the later 1970s and the 1980s under the Derg. Recovery began in the 1990s, but growth has been constrained by the lack of suitable hotels and other infrastructure, despite a boom in construction of small and medium-sized hotels and restaurants, and by the effects of drought and political instability. One encouraging aspect is the growing popularity of ecotourism, with significant potential for growth in Ethiopia. Travel retail sales are expected to continue to grow, posting an increase of 7% in 2006 and with a forecast 5% increase in 2007. Sales are driven primarily by expanding interest in ecotourism packages, including adventure travel, trekking and walking safaris that are making up much of the tour operators' revenues

From the vast spread of Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile River in the northern highlands, through the relics of Axum, seat of Sheba's legendary empire, down along the scorching inferno of the Danakil Depression, one of the world's lowest points, and high amid the wonders of the Simien and Bale Mountains to the untouched, game-filled wildernesses of the remote southern grasslands.

Addis Ababa is a city of surprises characterised by remarkable diversity and contrast. Abundant eucalyptus trees and crisp clear mountain air endow the Ethiopian capital city with the bracing atmosphere of a highland summer resort. Its cosy espresso bars and patisseries are reminiscent of Rome or the Mediterranean, whereas its bustling outdoor markets are colourful reminders of more traditional ways of life such as those found in Delhi or Bombay. Addis Abba is as vibrant and cosmopolitan as any of the world's great metropolises.

The architecture is as varied as the city itself. Tall office buildings, elegant villas, functional bungalows, flats, fashionable hotels, conference centres, and theatres vie for space alongside traditional homes surrounded by cattle, sheep, goats and chickens. Being the third highest capital city in the world means that it enjoys a mild climate with an average temperature of 16C despite its proximity to the equator