Ethiopia Eyes Revenue Windfall from Impact of Upcoming Africa Hotel Investment Forum

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Ethiopia is likely to generate millions of dollars in revenue from the upcoming Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), the premier hotel investment conference in Africa.

The event is famous for attracting prominent international hotel owners, investors, financiers, management companies and their advisers.

An independent report has revealed the economic impact of Africa’s top hotel conference and its potential for Ethiopia. The assessment by international tourism advisory expert, Martin Jansen van Vuuren, a Partner at Futureneer Advisors, has quantified the significant economic benefits to host countries of the AHIF.

He reveals that when AHIF returns to Addis Ababa at the end of September, it could bring over $1.5 million in direct benefit to the local economy, an additional $2 million in indirect benefit and over a $250,000 in tax revenue to the Ethiopian host government if spending at the 2019 event is a mere 10% more than when it was held in the city in 2014.

This assessment is based on recent research of attendees at AHIF and a study on the economic impact of previous editions of the conference, which has been held in Afcican cities such as Lome, Kigali and Nairobi.

Looking back over the history of AHIF since the first conference in Casablanca in 2011, the event has made a total impact on the local host economies of $21.24 million of which $8.64 million is direct and $12.6 million is indirect.  In doing so, it has helped to create or sustain more than 6,000 jobs and generate $1.4 million in tax to the governments of the host countries.

The primary purpose of AHIF is to facilitate dialogue and ultimately deal-making between the top businesspeople present. Two surveys of delegates attending AHIF events between 2011 and 2018 indicated an average value of $12.2 million per transaction in 2018 and $4.6 million over the 8-year period.

On the assumption that these findings, which were based on a sample of delegates, were representative of the whole group of attendees, AHIF facilitated around $2.8 billion of investment in the hospitality sector across Africa in 2018 and $6.2 billion between 2011 and 2018.

“One important measure of AHIF’s success is the high-level of the delegates it attracts. The attending CEO’s and MD’s do not only spend more than average by staying in the best hotels but much more importantly, they are people with the ability to make decisions, including whether or not to invest in a destination – and that’s reflected in the value of deals done,” explained Martin Jansen van Vuuren.

Matthew Weihs, Managing Director of Bench Events, the organisation that organises AHIF, said that it has been exciting and gratifying to see how much the conference adds to the destinations it visits and to the hospitality sector across Africa.

“At this year’s event, I am aware of more serious investors coming with more money behind them than ever before, so it feels to me that the hospitality industry in Africa is rapidly becoming more mature and sophisticated,” he concluded.

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