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Ethiopia prepares for return of Africa Hotel Investment Forum

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.

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.”