Ethiopia prepares for return of Africa Hotel Investment Forum
Prominent figures from Ethiopia’s public and private sectors have spoken out publicly to welcome the return to Addis Ababa of the Africa Hotel Investment Forum.
The event attracts many prominent international hotel owners, investors, financiers, management companies and their advisers.
It will return to the Sheraton Hotel, Addis Ababa from September 23rd-25th.
AHIF was previously held in Ethiopia’s capital city in 2014 and 2015.
According to an independent study by Grant Thornton and the international tourism advisory expert, Martin Jansen van Vuuren, of Futureneer Advisors, the event is forecast to be worth millions of US dollars to Ethiopia’s economy.
In 2018, AHIF facilitated around $2.8 billion of investment in the hospitality sector and between 2011 and 2018, $6.2 billion.
Abebe Abebayehu, commissioner, Ethiopian Investment Commission, said: “We are glad to support this prestigious event.
“AHIF attracts the highest calibre group of business leaders in the hospitality industry in Africa.
“By taking part, we will be able to get a much deeper understanding of what investors need.
“That is particularly important to us in the context of the government’s focus on tourism as a strategic pillar of the economy.
“By encouraging more investment in hospitality projects, we will create productive employment for our young population and earn valuable hard currency.”
Sheraton Hotel, Addis Ababa, will host AHIF 2019
The promotion of tourism is another critical issue for many African countries.
For Ethiopia, it is underlined by a report from the World Travel & Tourism Council, which states that tourism represents 61 per cent of Ethiopia’s exports and it expects the industry to expand by a whopping 48.6 per cent in 2019.
A rapidly growing national airline, a new hub airport, relaxed visa regulations and the country being the political centre of Africa, by virtue of hosting the headquarters of the African Union, are drivers of these impressive numbers.
According to Travel Afriq, in 2018 Travel & Tourism contributed US$7.4 billion to the country’s economy, an increase of $2.2bn on 2017. The sector now represents 9.4% of Ethiopia’s total economy.
The WTTC research which compares the Travel & Tourism sector across 185 countries, shows that in 2018 the Ethiopian Travel & Tourism sector:
Significantly outpaced the global growth rate of 3.9%, the African growth rate of 5.6%
Supported 2.2 million jobs, or 8.3% of total employment was primarily driven by leisure travelers: 79% of the Travel & Tourism spending was generated by leisure visitors and 21% from business travellers is strongly weighted towards international travel: 77% of the Travel & Tourism spending came from international travellers and 23% from domestic travel
Commenting on the numbers, Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO said: “Ethiopia’s Travel & Tourism boom was one of the great success stories of 2018. It has exceeded our sector’s global and regional comparisons to record the highest level of growth of any country in 2018. This has been driven by the very strong performance of aviation in the country and the development of Addis Ababa as a dynamic and growing regional hub.
“Travel & Tourism in Ethiopia now accounts for one in every eleven dollars in the entire economy and one in 12 of all jobs. I would like to acknowledge the work of the Ethiopian Government, under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and the country’s commitment to the power of Travel & Tourism to drive economic growth, job creation and social enhancement.”
Lensa Mekonnen, chief executive, Tourism Ethiopia, said: “AHIF will provide an excellent opportunity to welcome the cream of the hotel industry to Ethiopia.
“Our aim is to show them our assets and thereby attract more international-standard hotel and resort brands to establish themselves close to our historical, natural and cultural sites, in addition to the capital city.
“By promoting regionally balanced development, we will attract more tourists to Ethiopia and encourage them to stay longer.”
Source Breaking Trarvel News