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Government, industry leaders express high expectations of upcoming Hotel Investment Forum in Ethiopia

The government in Ethiopia and industry leaders gathered to brief the media yesterday on the African Hotel Investment Forum 2015 (AHIF), which will take place at the same location on 30th September and 1st October, as a platform to stimulate and attract much needed foreign hotel investment in Ethiopia.
At the conference, Bench Events, the organizer of AHIF, explained that the highest caliber group of international hotel investors of any gathering in Africa will attend AHIF 2015 and that they will support the government in seeking investment to develop one of the most important economic sectors, Travel & Tourism. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the Travel & Tourism sector in 2013 was responsible for 10.3% of Ethiopia’s GDP and has generated 2.5 million jobs, 9.5% of total Ethiopian employment in 2013.

Matthew Weihs, Managing Director, Bench Events, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be back in Addis Ababa again. The feedback from our event here last September has been very positive – it facilitated thousands of constructive high-level conversations and that made it an easy decision to return. This September, I’m expecting to see more involvement from the local market which will make AHIF more productive, because international companies are keen to find the best local partners.”

Solomon and Fitsum

Solomon Tadesse and Fitsum Arega of the Ethiopia Investment Commission

Samuel Tafesse, President, Sunshine Business said: “Last year´s event was a great success and I consider it as a great introduction of the Ethiopian market to the international investment world. We are particularly excited that AHIF is coming back again this year as it can build on last year´s event and presents the opportunity to provide access to foreign money. It still remains a big secret for me, why a stable country such as Ethiopia, with Africa’s best airline in terms of connectivity and tourism arrivals growing by 15%, is still a difficult place to attract foreign money. Therefore, I hope the 2015 event will open more eyes and foreign investors will look more closely into this particular country.”

Yenberberu Mamo, Managing Director, Mamo Kacha PLC, commented: “AHIF 2014 has accomplished the introduction of international hotel brands to Ethiopia’s hotel developers and operators. I hope AHIF 2015 will yield more partnerships between the major international brands and the Ethiopian hotel industry.”

Solomon Tadesse, Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Tourism
Organization, said: “AHIF 2014 was an absolute success because it gave local hoteliers and investors the opportunity to meet international hotel owners, service providers and investors in their own city. ETO recognizes the importance of different stakeholders in the tourism sector and is working hard to foster collaboration and alignment throughout the public and private institutions. A memorandum of understanding has been signed with the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority as well as with the Ethiopian Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage. Many other MoU’s with e.g. Ethiopian Airlines, the Ethiopian Tour Operators Association and the Ethiopian Hotel Owners Association will be signed to ensure deeper collaboration and more efficient and effective results for 2015. I expect that AHIF 2015 will be of great help to achieve all these goals.”

Cover Photo: Matthew Weihs and Solomon Tadesse (center) during the media briefing

Photo: Mahlet Fasil/Addis Standard

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