Insights Tourism Travel

Ethiopian hotel goes on wide expansion drive

BY EABW REPORTER

ADDIS ABABA , ETHIOPIA- Addis Ababa is set to get another local brand hotel, Ronali, which comes with a total investment of half a billion Br. The Hotel, located in Bole District will house a total of 203 rooms.

Currently, the hotel has completed 64 rooms, a gymnasium, conference room, restaurant, cafe, bar, spa, and commercial centres for a cost of 350 million Br.

The owners have allocated an additional 150 million Br to finish and furnish the other rooms and for the construction of a swimming pool, spa and sauna. The nine-storey hotel, located in the Ayat neighbourhood of Addis Ababa, occupies roughly 1,200sqm of an area and is part of a larger development that involves about 7,800sqm of land.

It is expected that the hotel, once it becomes fully operational, will create employment opportunities for 250 people.

The owner of the hotel said that he initially took the land for a real estate development but changed his plans to convert it to a hotel.

“I changed my mind on the advice of a friend who convinced me to invest in the hotel business,” said Tadele Mulu, managing director and majority shareholder of Ronali.

Tadele, a civil engineer and co-owner of Ronali Construction Plc., joined the hotel industry business when he first opened the six-storey Empire Addis Hotel in 2011 near Bole International Airport.

Ronali Construction, the builder of the new hotel, has been in business for over two decades with experience in  constructing over 30 condominium buildings for the Addis Ababa City Administration.

“Beyond the design work, I was involved in collecting broken pieces of glass,” he told Fortune.

The management of the hotel expects that Ronali, once completed and operating, would earn a four-star rating.

Ronali is one of the 35 hotels under construction in the capital, according to data from Addis Ababa Culture & Tourism Bureau (Bureau).

Currently, there are 76 star-rated hotels for a total of 6,250 rooms and 7,236 beds. The Bureau claims that six hotels under construction have a five-star rating, fourteen four-stars, 26 three-stars, 26 two-stars and 21 hotels are rated one-star.

In addition, there are 35 internationally franchised hotels under construction while six other globally franchised establishments in operation. The city is also a host to 79 guesthouses and 1,189 pensions. A total of 445 travel and 98 tour agencies are also operating in the capital with 1,129 commercial vehicles servicing the industry. It is reported that the tour and travel agencies are organised under 19 associations.

The hospitality industry in the capital has been shifting for the past seven years, according to Worku Mengesh, communications director of Addis Ababa Culture & Tourism Bureau.

The total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP in 2017 was 121.4 billion Br, and 6.8pc of GDP. Furthermore, the total contribution of the travel and tourism sector to employment, including jobs indirectly supported by the industry, was 6.1pc of the total employment hiring of 1.5 million.

“Addis Abeba and Ethiopia are becoming recognized internationally as centres of conference tourism,” he told Fortune.

Kumneger Teketel, managing director of Ozzie Business & Hospitality Group, believes that the hotel would have a positive impact on the industry.

“It can bring price options for customers,” he says. “Besides, it is located at a strategic location, where the Addis-Africa International Convention & Exhibition Center (AAICEC) is being built.”

The AAICEC, an exhibition centre, is under-construction in two phases for an estimated cost of 2.7 billion Br. The first phase involves the construction of the centre and shops while the second phase will entail the development of a conference centre with a capacity to hold 5,000 people, a restaurant and hotel.