Catering service demand surges
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – A recent report by Bench Events, a London-based event organizer, said that Ethiopia is well among the ten top African nations experiencing an unprecedented rise in development of hotel chains in the region.
According to the report, Ethiopia currently has some six international standard hotels in the pipeline, which upon completion would add 990 rooms to the existing capacity of the hospitality industry. Still, the report indicated that Ethiopia remained one of the bottom ranked countries compared to Nigeria and Morocco, which have 6,614 and 4,828 rooms in the pipeline respectively.
However, a research by Awash International Bank suggested that Ethiopia might fail to accommodate tourists expected to come to the country both in 2015 and 2020. By 2015, Ethiopia plans to attract some one million tourists and sees to amass USD 3 billion. The country also envisages being one of the top five tourist destinations in Africa by 2020. Assuming a tourist would want to stay at least for a night, the demand for hotel rooms is projected to be some 1.3 million a day by 2015. The bank’s projection also shows that the single night demand will swell further to 3.1 million by 2020.
The current state of the tourism sector reveals that a little over half-a-million visitors come to Ethiopia every year, from whom the nation gets close to USD 300 million. For critics, such poor performance is way behind the targets set for the years to come and manifests the nature of the unrealistic targets set by the government for the tourism sector. However, in his recent interview with The Reporter, Solomon Tadesse, chief of the newly established Ethiopian Tourism Organization (ETO), said that the government has realized this and is taking measures to transform the sector. The establishment of ETO along with the Ethiopian Tourism Council, chaired by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Solomon says reflects the commitments of the government.
In his statements, Matthew Weihs, managing director of Bench Events, said that Ethiopia should increase the supply of good quality, high-end hotel accommodations to grasp the opportunities in the catering industry. Bench Events is scheduled to organize the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), which will be hosted here for three days starting September 29th. High-level international players, African officials and experts are planned to attend the forum.
Currently, the most high-end star rated hotels in Ethiopia include Sheraton Addis, Hilton and the recently opened Radisson Blu.
Source: The Reporter