Hotel owners worried about the consequences 

Amin Abdulkadir and Zhu Shanzong

Amin Abdulkadir and Zhu Shanzong

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Some three years ago, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MoCT) had an idea to set out a rating criteria to grade the slowly rising hotel and accommodation industry in Ethiopia.

Over the years, the ministry was reported to be on the verge of implementing the ratings but the criteria never saw the light of day due to stiff opposition from industry players. It seems that this time around MoCT had the right idea when it gave the job to United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to devise the controversial grading criteria under which close to 400 hotels in Ethiopia will be star rated.

According to the contract agreement that was signed between the UNWTO and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MoTC) on Thursday, the new star rating and hotel classification system will commence starting mid-January. UNWTO is hired to do the consultancy work in devising the grading criteria and rating the institutions, which is paid for by a financial support obtained from the World Bank.

Zhu Shanzong, executive director of UNWTO, and Jemal Kedir, director of the Ethiopian sustainable tourism development project, signed the contract signaling a major change to come in the hospitality industry quite soon.

According to Amin Abdulkadir, minister of MoCT, there are some 600 hotels in the hospitality industry in Ethiopia which have the potentials to be star rated. However, in the coming three years, about 400 hotels – out of which 200 in the capital city – are spotted to be involved in the grading and classification system.

The total cost of grading and classifying 400 hotels is estimated to be over half a million USD or some 12 million birr, the minister said.

Read more at: The Reporter