The tiny country of Djibouti has been dubbed one of the world’s least visited nations – but now it wants to change that status by exhibiting at World Travel Market in London.
Last year it celebrated the 40th anniversary of its independence from France, and is looking to develop its tourism industry as one of its growth sectors.
It is estimated that the country, bordered by Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia, attracts only about 73,000 arrivals each year – but it has a climate, landscape, history and beaches that will appeal to travellers worldwide.
However, its location also means it hosts several foreign military bases, and the British Foreign Office advises against all travel to the border with Eritrea.
Swimming with whale sharks is one of the highlights for tourists, while other activities include scuba diving, fishing, hiking and bird-watching.
It also boasts remarkable geological landscapes with mountains, volcanoes, salt lakes and deserts.
International airlines which serve Djibouti include Air France, Turkish Airlines and Kenya Airways, while the capital Djibouti City has hotels from chains such as Sheraton and Kempinksi.
A spokesperson from the National Tourism Office of Djibouti said: “We are very happy to exhibiting for the first time in World Travel Market London 2018 because it is the leading global event for the travel industry.
“It is a great opportunity for us.”
“Djibouti is what it always was, a trading post where different cultures and empires collide,” the spokesperson continued.
“A heady mix of African, Arabic and French influences give Djibouti City an exotic atmosphere and vibe.
“Djibouti might be small in terms of country size but everything about it is huge.”