Culture as a Brand: How Traditional Coffee Ceremonies are Promoting Tourism

Culture as a Brand: How Traditional Coffee Ceremonies are Promoting Tourism illustration : 2.bp.blogspot.com

With its ancient and complex history, tradition and ceremonies, Ethiopia has not only left the relics of a distinctive past in the form of tangible monuments, churches and castles, but has also held on tightly to its variety of rich, deep-rooted religious and secular traditions. Not only is preserving Ethiopia’s unique culture vital from a historical perspective, its untapped tourism potential is a powerful tool for economic development. Addis Abeba is comparatively young and it has not yet lived up to its promise of attracting a large number of tourists to visit the country’s historical sites. Conferences have been booming in Addis and have brought a plethora of new hotels to the city and tourism is on the brink of major change. The sheer number of foreigners that come to the capital simply for business and conferences has catapulted in the past several years and the impact can be seen in all the hotels being constructed.

Hotels have souvenir shops, travel agencies and packages that expose guests to the variety of customs and experiences the country has to offer and many have gone the extra mile by providing a traditional coffee ceremony. These coffee stations, cozily set up around a woman who prepares the coffee from scratch, diffuse the smell of roasting coffee beans, delicious brews and local incense throughout the lobbies in which they’re found. This, accompanied by ornate traditional furniture and utensils never fails to draw in a crowd. In the lobbies of hotels such as The Hilton and Intercontinental, this is a common scene while hotels like Radisson Blu have taken a more modernized approach, putting a sleek branch of TOMOCA Café in the luxurious lobby. TOMOCA, a long-standing, well-known chain that serves solely Ethiopian Arabica coffee with roasts from Harar, Sidamo and so on, brews all its coffee in Italian machines instead of the traditional jebena. However, the experience is surprisingly, no less enjoyable. The staff are well versed in their knowledge of different roasts and brews as well as the history of Ethiopian coffee and can provide excellent tasting sessions that are a hit with guests. When looking at this, as well as traditional coffee house, and considering the prices range from about four to almost thirty birr a cup, it isn’t long before one thinks of the potential economic impact the provision and promotion of such cultural experiences can have.

When people visit a place for the first time they are interested in learning and experiencing something unique, regardless of their reason for travel. As one of the women serving coffee mentioned, guests who have not had a chance to thoroughly explore the city are curious about the coffee making process and the ceremony that comes with its consumption. These coffee house give guests a taste of Ethiopian culture; “I don’t have time for a lot of cultural experiences but the traditional coffee ceremony is something I was glad to spend my time on, just to experience something different,” explained one Hilton guest from France. This unique quality is one of the key aspects of these coffee stations that make them popular and successful. This success is not only good for the business but also for the employees who are able to bring in an income and supplement it with the tips they receive, especially from their foreign customers. The sheer number of traditional coffee houses in the streets of Addis Abeba is enough to show the strength of this industry and its significance to those who earn their living from it, especially women, who secure their employment due to their traditional role as heads of the ceremony.

Much like the art of sushi making in Japan, the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony can become a brand for the Nation. Travelling comes from curiosity and interest in the new and the exotic, it is vital that a country has cultural visibility in the outside world. When one thinks of popular tourist destinations, they are attached with a distinct characteristic. Thinking of India may spur images of colorful clothing and food, beautiful temples and ceremonies while the idea of Brazil might induce thoughts of music, dancing, and carnivals. These ideas are what help travellers decide where to spend their tourist dollars. Associations like these help brand a country, presenting its unique identity and the recognition that comes with the ability to generate tourism, money and in turn, development.

Distinctiveness is a characteristic that is more than important in economic activity, it is essential and when thinking of cultural commodities, it’s clear we have this in bundles through food, drink, art and much more.

20 comments

  • Kennithreuck

    sildenafil citrate 100mg for women
    viagra without a doctor prescription
    plant viagra 6800mg
    viagra without doctor
    where can you get viagra in ireland

    Kennithreuck Wednesday, 20 September 2017 16:19 Comment Link
  • Clintonden

    cheap viagra online in uk
    viagra 100 mg
    buy viagra in las vegas
    viagra 100 mg
    can you buy viagra thailand

    Clintonden Sunday, 17 September 2017 13:11 Comment Link
  • Carlosvog

    buy viagra online switzerland
    buy viagra online
    buy viagra
    hvad er viagra piller
    cialis buy
    cialis online
    how to get viagra in dubai

    Carlosvog Saturday, 16 September 2017 02:58 Comment Link
  • Anthonyloxia

    viagra generic in us
    viagra without a doctor prescription
    existe algum generico viagra
    viagra without doctor
    online cheap viagra

    Anthonyloxia Monday, 04 September 2017 17:02 Comment Link
  • Latanya

    legal buy viagra online uk
    viagra without prescription
    viagra online where to buy

    Latanya Monday, 04 September 2017 12:07 Comment Link
  • BobbySuero

    buy cialis germany
    cialis professional for sale
    cialis and sleeping pills
    buy cialis professional
    how to split cialis pills

    BobbySuero Friday, 01 September 2017 11:01 Comment Link
  • KevinBon

    como tomar viagra 50mg
    viagra online
    safe place order viagra online
    viagra cheap
    viagra 100 mg instructions
    order cialis overnight delivery
    cialis online
    buy cialis through paypal
    cheap cialis online
    buy cialis prescription

    KevinBon Wednesday, 30 August 2017 16:12 Comment Link
  • Jessieelurn

    cialis pills online
    cialis
    cialis at discount price
    buy cialis
    best site buy cialis online
    cheap levitra 40 mg
    levitra
    buy levitra in australia
    levitra 20 mg
    buy cialis and levitra

    Jessieelurn Wednesday, 30 August 2017 00:47 Comment Link
  • Jessieelurn

    cialis buy over counter
    cialis buy
    buy cialis daily use
    cialis
    where to buy cialis no prescription
    discount viagra cialis levitra
    levitra
    brand levitra cheap
    levitra
    cheap levitra canadian pharmacy

    Jessieelurn Tuesday, 29 August 2017 15:41 Comment Link
  • Johnnybeapy

    levitra for sale no prescription
    levitra cost
    cheap levitra uk
    levitra
    safe place to buy levitra

    Johnnybeapy Wednesday, 23 August 2017 01:14 Comment Link

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.Basic HTML code is allowed.

Latest News

Ethiopia to Host the 4th International Coffee Conference

Ethiopia to Host the 4th International Coffee Conference

Ethiopia is set to host the 4th International Coffee Conference from March 6 – 8, 2016 in Addis Ababa at the United Nations Conference Center. Previous conferences were held  in England in 2001, Brazil in 2005 and Guatemala in 2010. Read more

Most Popular

  • 1
  • 2
Prev Next

The White-Box of Ethiopian Agriculture

The agricultural sector remains our Achilles heel, nonetheless, we remain convinced that agricultural-based development remains the only source of hope ...

Read more

For Whoever Has, to Him Shall be Given …

As the Ethiopian government seeks to transform the economy into one that’s rooted in manufacturing, the simplicity for local investors to access finance...

Read more

Commentary

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

Shooting in the Dark: The Anomalies of Headhunting

The war for ‘heads’ – also known as talent – has been raging for many years and the manner headhunters ‘poach’ people is getting tougher ...

Read more

Understanding Chinese Investment in Ethiopia A Critical Evaluation of the World Bank’s “Chinese FDI in Ethiopia” Survey

The World Bank country office in Ethiopia, apparently in response to the request by the government of Ethiopia, has conducted a survey of...

Read more

Mitigating Growing Income Inequality: What Needs to Be Done

Rising income and wealth inequality in many countries around the world has been a long-term trend for three decades or more. But the atte...

Read more

View Point

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

Delivering Life Insurance: The Untapped Market in Ethiopia

Modern insurance transaction in Ethiopia was started by an Egyptian Bank in 1905. According to Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce there were 19, 33 and 40 insuran...

Read more

Headache When a Key Personnel leaves a Company in the Financial Sector

The financial sector in Ethiopia has undergone considerable changes in recent decades. The dramatic rise of new market players into the sector has vividly al...

Read more

Women and the World Economy

In many countries, public debate about gender equality focuses mainly on women’s access to top positions and high-powered career opportunities. But the “glas...

Read more