- Chidozie Uzoezie
Tourism: Ethiopia Backs 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, which is the premier tourism and hotel investment conference in Africa, and to encourage others to attend.
AHIF attracts many prominent international hotel owners, investors, financiers, management companies and their advisers. It will return to the Sheraton Hotel, Addis Ababa from 23-25 September, 2019. 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 to Ethiopia’s economy and to facilitate the investment of $billions in hospitality projects across Africa.
In 2018, AHIF facilitated around $2.8 billion of investment in the hospitality sector and between 2011 and 2018, $6.2 billion.
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.
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 centre of Africa, by virtue of hosting the headquarters of the African Union, are drivers of these impressive numbers.