The best tour operator in Ethiopia: Green Land Tours & Hotels
By Bewket Abebe
ADDIS ABABA - Despite being claimed to be the origin of human creation, "previously, Ethiopia was not very well-known in the tourism industry," remarks Dario Morello, CEO of Green Land Tours & Hotels, known as the best tour operator in Ethiopia. A change occurred during the past year when, according to Morello, "the private sector and the government have been promoting Ethiopia in different trade fairs and internationally," which indeed sparked the interest of international tourists who now themselves spread the word about beauties of Ethiopia. The country is bound to become one of the top travel destinations in Africa.
In parallel with the overall growth of tourism in Ethiopia (4-5%), the tourism industry has witnessed an alarming increase in the number of tour and travel agencies based in the country. According to the figures available by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MoCT) of Ethiopia, the number of tour operators in Ethiopia has already reached 370.
"We promote every part of Ethiopia, from the historical sites in the north, to the people and the culture in the south," explains Dario Morello.
Only a few of these tour operators can pride themselves with “the best off” of high quality services and years-long presence in the tourism market of Ethiopia.
The MoCT had been for years awarding the ‘best performers award’ to a handful of the best tour operators. The competition is not currently in place, also due to the fact that the winners have already been predetermined throughout the time. The selection criteria used to include the amount of foreign currency the companies collected, the diversity and number of tourists they attracted as well as the number of jobs they created.
Receiving the MoCT award three times, Green Land Tours & Hotels developed itself into the best tour operator in Ethiopia, with more than 16 years of experience in the industry. The company has been able to attract more tourists than any other tour operator in the country.
Today, destination Ethiopia attracts primarily visitors from Europe, the United States and also Asian countries such as Japan.
Apart from the above, another popular area worth of visiting is the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR). The region draws great attention thanks to its unique set of cultural assets; there are 56 tribes living within this particular region.In terms of the tours organized for their clients, "we promote every part of Ethiopia, from the historical sites in the north, to the people and the culture in the south," explains Morello. Famous Ethiopian landmarks like Danakil Depression, Simien Mountains and Omo River Valley are among the top places to see. Moreover, "in the north, there is Lalibela which is a unique place. There are many rock-hewn churches—about 100 churches in the region. There are other places like Gondar, which is famous for its castles, Bahirdar with the source of the Blue Nile and the spectacular Blue Nile falls, and Axum, with a history of more than 2000 years, which was the capital under Queen of Sheba and where legend says that the Ark of Covenant is deposited," comments the CEO of the best tour operator in Ethiopia.
Owning hotels in two different towns of Arbaminch and Turmi (500km and 749km south of the Addis Ababa capital, respectively), Green Land Tours also offers full-board services for its clients with competitive prices. In the upcoming year(s), the company’s vision is "to increase the number of lodges and vehicles, and employ more guides and other members of staff," reveals Morello. In addition to those, the best tour operator wants to further expand into new countries. "We organize trips not only within Ethiopia but also in Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan, South Sudan, and Djibouti. We have our own offices in each place and we have marketing offices in Europe; in Italy and London," adds the CEO.
To get in touch and establish contacts with foreign tour operators that would then cooperate with Green Land Tours, the best tour operator in Ethiopia attends on average 15 international trade fairs per year.
There are different factors that contributed to the success of Green Land Tours and its superiority in comparison with other competitors. In Morello’s words, "I think one of the main things that has made Green Land grow is the good staff and vehicles which we own. We have about 400 employees working with us including our guides that speak different languages such as Italian, English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese. They are very committed to taking care of the clients and they are very professional. We have a very large fleet of vehicles from Land Cruisers to buses, depending on the area."
On behalf of Green Land Tours, Morello invites all: "As we say "Leave the ordinary; discover the extraordinary" come and enjoy Ethiopia, as well Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan, South Sudan & Djibouti."
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