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

Colombia Tourism Is Poised for Transformation Under New President

A new leadership representative of Colombia's diverse population for the first time in its history. An agenda centered on decarbonization, integrating host communities in decision making and sharing the tourism pie. And big priorities on social justice. Will Colombia become the model definition of a sustainable tourism industry?

Colombia Tourism Is Poised for Transformation Under New President

Tourism

Early Lessons From Vancouver Island Tourism’s Shift From Marketer to Social Enterprise

Swapping its marketing role to focus on social impact is as inspiring as it gets coming out of a destination's tourism board. But Vancouver Island's 4VI will need to communicate at a whole new level of transparency — staying mindful of priorities that its resident communities may consider most important.

Early Lessons From Vancouver Island Tourism’s Shift From Marketer to Social Enterprise

Tourism

Gun Violence Creates a Troubling New Reality for U.S. Tourism’s Hard Sell

Even without entry test requirements, travelers are likely to pause before rushing back to a country where hate crimes and mass shootings are becoming far too commonplace. How will the U.S. travel industry tackle one of the greatest potential threats to its recovery of international travel?

Gun Violence Creates a Troubling New Reality for U.S. Tourism’s Hard Sell

Tourism

Global Tourism Must Confront These 3 Consumer Shifts in Its Sustainability Push

Travelers are hitting the road and the skies again in droves, but their mindsets and habits have morphed. How will the industry tackle the long-term impact of those changes, beyond surface implications? Sustainability discussions still remain far too lofty, far too slow in solutions, and far too focused on the outside visitor.

Global Tourism Must Confront These 3 Consumer Shifts in Its Sustainability Push

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