ADDIS ABABA – 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 (AHIF).
They encourage others to attend the premier tourism and hotel investment conference in Africa.
AHIF attracts many prominent international hotel owners, investors, financiers, management companies and their advisers.
It will return to Addis Ababa, Sheraton Hotel, in the last week of September 23-25, 2019. AHIF was previously held in Ethiopia’s capital city in 2014 and 2015.
The event is forecast to be worth millions of Dollars to Ethiopia’s economy and to facilitate the investment of $billions in hospitality projects across Africa, says hospitality experts.
In 2018, AHIF facilitated around $2.8 billion of investment in the sector and between 2011 and 2018, $6.2 billion.
Abebe Abebayehu, Commissioner of Ethiopian Investment Commission, said: “We are glad to support this prestigious event”.
“AHIF attracts the highest caliber group of business leaders in the hospitality industry in Africa,” he said. “By taking part, we will be able to get a much deeper understanding of what investors need”.
One of the most important roles played by AHIF is to facilitate networking between delegates.
Many investors and developers are keen to find new sources of finance, expert advisers and importantly, local partners.
One Ethiopian businessman, Neway Berhanu, Managing Director of Calibra Hospitality Group, has benefited substantially from this.
He said the Group’s success in becoming the leading consulting company in Ethiopia has been greatly helped by being an active participant in the AHIF, since 2011.
“Thanks to Bench Events, we are now well connected, having established very good relationships with all the major international hotel brands,” he said.
“That has enabled us to conclude close to 25 International transactions, bringing business to Ethiopia. I would encourage the business community and all stakeholders in the hospitality sector to attend.”
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 (WTTC), which states that Travel & Tourism represents 61% of Ethiopia’s exports and it expects the industry to expand by a whopping 48.6% in 2019.
A rapidly growing national airline, a new hub airport, relaxed visa regulations, and the country being the political center of Africa, by virtue of hosting the headquarters of the African Union, are drivers of these impressive numbers.
Officials are now hopeful that the forum will provide “an excellent opportunity to welcome the cream of the hotel industry to Ethiopia”, according to.
“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,” said Ms. Lensa Mekonnen, CEO of Tourism Ethiopia.
“By promoting regionally balanced development, we will attract more tourists to Ethiopia and encourage them to stay longer,” she added.
Photo Caption: Sheraton Hotel, Addis Ababa – location of the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) 2019