Lebawit Lily Girma

Lily is Skift's global tourism reporter. Prior to that, she wrote travel stories focused on culture and sustainability for BBC, CNN, and Travel + Leisure, and others. Born in Ethiopia and raised in Côte d’Ivoire, she calls herself a serial expat and loves to debate the power of tourism to tip the scales of imbalance in the world. Lily splits her time between the Dominican Republic and the eastern U.S.

Latest Stories

Tourism

Ghana’s Return Tours Tap Celebrity African Americans – And Overlook a Reality

Ghana’s push to attract more African Americans to visit and invest makes sense, but using celebrities to drive the campaign is problematic. Not least, two years of pandemic means residents will increasingly scrutinize the tourism sector and demand a transparent, long-term plan to benefit host communities.

Ghana’s Return Tours Tap Celebrity African Americans – And Overlook a Reality

Tourism

Dear Travel Leaders, Sustainability Is Not a PR Exercise

When is the travel industry as a whole going to prioritize sustainability by deed and not word? Time is running out and the complacency and greenwashing around climate action from aviation and cruise, as well as the ongoing lack of better options for the rising conscious consumer are alarming. Most are back to business as usual — and it's scary as hell.

Dear Travel Leaders, Sustainability Is Not a PR Exercise

Tourism

Canada Indigenous Tourism Gets Big Nod for First Time in National Budget

After all, Indigenous experiences can play a critical role in Canada's reconciliation process, as well as in drawing the deep-pocketed international traveler back to Canada.

Canada Indigenous Tourism Gets Big Nod for First Time in National Budget

Coronavirus

Philadelphia’s New Tourism Campaign Advances Close-To-Home Strategy

Tourism marketing from destinations that continue to prioritize their resident communities are likely to build a more resilient future. If Visit Philadelphia keeps applying that lesson past the pandemic years, it's likely to pay off long term.

Philadelphia’s New Tourism Campaign Advances Close-To-Home Strategy

Tourism

Europeans Plan to Vacation and Fly at Record Levels This Summer

Backyard tourism continues to dominate as predicted — most Europeans will stick even closer to home this year. But their increased preference for air travel versus train, according to the report, is concerning and comes just as the European Union aims to crack down on emissions.

Europeans Plan to Vacation and Fly at Record Levels This Summer

Tourism

Boston Sticks to Its Bold Diversity Push in Latest Tourism Campaign

As a traveler of color, I approve this message. As a tourism marketing effort, it's a smart one ahead of what's predicted to be a busier and more competitive summer than last year's. Way to go, Boston — and look out New York City.

Boston Sticks to Its Bold Diversity Push in Latest Tourism Campaign

Tourism

Tourists Are Equally Satisfied Visiting Lesser-Known Places, Study Shows

If there's clear evidence that tourists are equally happy in lesser-visited areas, will the travel industry come together to rework those problematic bucket lists and spread tourism's benefits? Or will it continue to be economic recovery first, followed by more sustainability pledges?

Tourists Are Equally Satisfied Visiting Lesser-Known Places, Study Shows

Coronavirus

Grenada’s New Diaspora Loyalty Program Could Be Model for the Caribbean  

We've long said that the diaspora remains an untapped and lucrative "visiting friends and relatives" market for the Caribbean. Working out the kinks of the program by beefing up the incentives and committing to the effort beyond the recovery phase could pay off long term for Grenada.

Grenada’s New Diaspora Loyalty Program Could Be Model for the Caribbean  

Tourism

Cape Town Launches a Virtual Game for Biggest Tourism Campaign Yet

Tourism campaigns out of the African continent are getting creative and breaking stereotypes in a way never before seen. We're here for it.

Cape Town Launches a Virtual Game for Biggest Tourism Campaign Yet

Travel Technology

Travel’s Pandemic Digital Push Was Just the Start

The digital ease of booking travel is growing post-pandemic and it's only the beginning.

Travel’s Pandemic Digital Push Was Just the Start