Archaeological tourism is a form of cultural tourism which aims to promote public interest in archaeology and the conservation of historical and archaeological sites. Although the Lower Valley of The Awash site in Ethiopia is bestowed with abundant natural and cultural tourism resources, scientific exploration of its potential for archaeological tourism development is unrealized. Thus, the study employed Butler Tourism Area Life Cycle Model (TALC). Therefore, the study was done with the objectives of assessing the potential of the Lower Valley of Awash Paleoanthropological and Archaeological site for Archaeological tourism development. The study used an exploratory research design. A qualitative research approach was used for this study. Respondents were purposively selected. Field observations by the researcher and unstructured interviews with tourism experts and key informants were conducted. Published and unpublished books and journals were also reviewed. The collected data were analyzed qualitatively by coding and interpretation. The study found out and concluded that the Lower Valley of Awash site has viable potential to be developed as an archaeological tourism destination. As a recommendation, this resource should be properly managed and developed as a sustainable archaeological tourism destination.
Keywords: Archaeotourism, archaeological tourism, Paleoanthropology, tourism development.