Ethiopia Hopes Hotel Investment Forum Will Attract Foreign Money

Written by Dana Sanchez

Travel and tourism were responsible for 10.3 percent of Ethiopia’s gross domestic product in 2013, and 9.5 percent of all Ethiopian jobs, but the industry is having a hard time attracting foreign hotel investment, a stakeholder said.

The Sheraton Hotel In Addis Ababa will play host to the Africa Hotel Investment Forum 2015 on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 in hopes it will stimulate and attract much needed foreign hotel investment in Ethiopia, according to a report in EthioSports.

The event is a great way to introduce the Ethiopian market to the international investment world, said Samuel Tafesse, president of Sunshine Construction.

Tafesse is an Ethiopian businessman and hotelier with an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion, according to RichestLifestyle. He owns an investment company, Sunshine Construction Plc and a construction company known for winning some of the most lucrative construction projects in Ethiopia. The company financed and built Marriott International Hotel’s executive apartments in Ethiopia.

“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 percent is still a difficult place to attract foreign money,” Tafesse said, according to EthioSports. “I hope the 2015 (Africa Hotel Investment Forum) will open more eyes and foreign investors will look more closely into this particular country.”

The Africa Hotel Investment Forum is expected to attract international hotel owners, financiers, management companies, investors, and their advisers. Sponsors of the 2015 event in Ethiopia include ACCOR, Areen Hospitality Design, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Colliers International, France24, Hilton Worldwide, Hotel Partners Africa, HVS, Hyatt, Mangalis Hotel Group; Marriott International, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts, Starwood Hotels and Resorts International, STR Global, and Wyndham Hotel Group.