Addis Ababa will continue to grow as a regional business hub, supporting expansion of hotel sector in Ethiopia, a report from global accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) has shown.
In a report titled “Opportunities Abound for Foreign Investment in Africa’s Hospitality Sector”, PwC notes that Ethiopia is set to boost investment in the hospitality sector in order to generate more foreign earnings.
While the country’s economy continues to enjoy substantial growth, the hotel sector in Ethiopia is poised to benefit from an increase in the number of inbound travellers with the expected opening of some international hotel brands.
Currently, there are five international hotel brands under construction.
Total tourist arrivals in Ethiopia from 2015 to 2016 increased from 817 860 to 868 780. Tourist arrivals in 2017 are forecast to increase by 5.7% on the previous year to 918 010.
International visitors in Ethiopia come from a wide range of sources. It is a diverse market catering for both business travellers and tourists.
The report however notes that despite the a bid to bolster earnings from the hospitality sector, political unrest broke out in 2016 which slightly impacted the hotel sector in Ethiopia.
Government plans include expanding Ethiopian Airlines’ footprint of regional and international routes and Addis Ababa international airport is also undergoing expansion that will enable it to service 20 million passengers a year by 2019.
Host to numerous conferences
Hotels in the city currently have a 60% occupancy rate. Addis Ababa is host to numerous conferences. This is mainly because it has the third-largest diplomatic community in the world, after New York and Geneva.
“The growing presence of international brands in the country demonstrates confidence in Ethiopia’s tourism growth, particularly opportunities linked to business and diplomatic travel,” comments Pietro Calicchio, Hospitality & Gaming Industry leader for PwC Southern Africa.