September 27, 2018 - Hotel development projects in Ethiopia are almost 50 percent higher from last year, according to a new report, leading East Africa on this front. Addis Ababa is said to account for 86 per cent of the total, almost 5,000 rooms in 25 hotels.
In addition to the upcoming branded hotels, there many unbranded hotels under construction, but many are stalled, looking for investors to help finish them, according to the report.
Government incentives, international conferences and NGOs, embassies and aid agencies have all fueled the hotel growth in Addis Ababa.
To encourage hotel and toursim development, the Ethiopian government has been giving various incentives to developers for many years, including tax-free import of building materials and furnishings.
Accor is among the chains focusing heavily on East Africa, including Ethiopia, doubling the number of hotels in its development pipeline in in the region.
Hilton is deploying part of its US$50 million(Sh5 billion) Hilton Africa Growth Initiative to help fund growth in the region, converting hotels to its DoubleTree and other brands. The company has seen a 51 percent growth in its pipeline.
Across the region, Kenya has 2,754 rooms under construction. Tanzania is the other significant regional player with 1,344, Rwanda 457 and Uganda at 447.
“Ethiopia’s hotel expansion is truly impressive. The activity there has been huge, and it is very pleasing to see that investors and operators are now looking to exploit the opportunities outside of Addis Ababa, in the secondary cities and tourism centres.” said W Hospitality Group’s Managing Director, Trevor Ward.
Hyatt Hotels Corp. is the latest to enter the Ethiopian market. The company plans to open its first hotel in Ethiopia by the end of the year as it seeks to double its African portfolio to tap growing visits by both African and Chinese travelers.
The property in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, will be followed by Hyatt’s first hotels in Algeria and Senegal in early 2019 and in Kenya the year after, according to Kurt Straub, the company’s vice president for the Middle East and Africa. Hyatt in October said it would invest an estimated $200 million in new hotels on the continent.