Jan 7 , 2022
By BERSABEH GEBRE ( FORTUNE STAFF WRITER )
A federal bureau tasked with organising conventions is determined to bring a significant tourism and technology conference to Addis Abeba as it participated in its first bid since its inception last year.
The Ethiopian Convention Bureau (ECB) has made an offer to host the 30th edition of the annual ENTER conference scheduled for late January next year. Organised by the International Federation for Information Technologies and Travel & Tourism (IFITT), a non-profit organisation, 200 delegates will assemble for three days. The registration fee will be 500 euros, revenues to be shared with the Federation.
The Bureau's officials declined to disclose the bid amount.
The Bureau is mandated to bid for international events and host them independently. Aided by consultants hired by the World Bank's fund, it has developed a five-year strategic plan with a budget of 3.4 million dollars.
If it wins the bid, it will select an event organiser, disclosed Wondemagegne Girma, director of tourism sales and bidding at the Bureau.
“The event organiser will be responsible for arranging and facilitating accommodation and venues,” said Wondemagegne.
This is the first bid the Bureau has participated in since its formation in 2020. Its officials say it is necessary to make Addis Abeba the top event destination in Africa in a decade.
Consolidating a task previously performed by several government institutions into one entity has many advantages, according to Yoadan Tilahun, managing director of Flawless Events, an event organiser for 14 years. A member of the International Conventions & Conferences Association, Flawless has organised international exhibitions and conferences in 14 African countries, including Ethiopia.
“The existence of a dedicated entity allows the country to follow up and compete in bids on a much larger scale,” she said.
But some challenges deter the country from attracting events, according to Yoadan.
“Although we've managed to win contracts for organising international events in the past, we faced many problems because venues are often already reserved," she said.
Africa accounts for three percent of the global event industry, where South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Kenya and Rwanda are the top destinations. Kigali hosted 40 international exhibitions, conferences and events two years ago, while Addis Ababa hosted 15. In 2021, Addis Abeba hosted 13 events.
There are only a handful of conference facilities and trade show centres in Addis Abeba, such as the African Union, the UNECA, Millennium Hall and the Addis Ababa Exhibition Centre. These venues are available on a first-come-first-served basis.
Kumneger Teketel, a hospitality expert who says he introduced the concept to the authorities, observes international events have the potential to compensate for losses from the decline of the tourism industry over the past couple of years. The COVID-19 pandemic, political instability, and conflicts in the country's north have had a devastating effect on tourism, slashing income by two-thirds. The industry contributes an estimated five percent to Ethiopia's GDP, and supports two million people directly or indirectly.
Close to 812,000 tourists were reported by the authorities to have visited Ethiopia in 2019, generating a reported 3.55 billion dollars. In the following years, arrivals stood at 266,000.
According to official figures, during the first nine months of last year, 331,000 tourists visited Ethiopia, generating a little more than 1.5 billion dollars.
Conference accounts for up to 45pc of the country's total income from tourism.
“It`s the future,” said Kumneger.
Wondemagegne and his colleagues at the Bureau agree.
”We plan to participate in 18 bids for major conferences and exhibitions this year," he said.
PUBLISHED ON Jan 07,2022 [ VOL 22 , NO 1132]
Radar | Aug 24,2019
Radar | Jan 21,2023
Radar | Jun 01,2019
Commentaries | Mar 05,2022
Radar | Oct 31,2022
Radar | Mar 09,2019
My Opinion | Aug 07,2021
Radar | Jan 16,2021
Radar | Sep 10,2021
Dec 24 , 2022
Biniam Mikru heads the department of cabinet affairs under Mayor Adanech Abiebie. But...
Jul 2 , 2022 . By RUTH TAYE
On a rainy afternoon last week, a coffee processing facility in the capital's Akaki-Qality District was abuzz with activ...
Nov 27 , 2021
Against my will, I have witnessed the most terrible defeat of reason and the most sa...
Nov 13 , 2021
Plans and reality do not always gel. They rarely do in a fast-moving world. Every act...
Despite favourable indices, it is too soon to tell whether inflation has been tamed. Nonetheless, two clear lessons have emerged from the re...
Leaders of the National Election Board are in a charm offensive mood, of a sort. Last week, they organised a rare tour for members of the me...
When the country's most senior diplomats and envoys return back to their posts after two-week debriefings, they leave behind a point or two...
Jan 28 , 2023
It is not common to see an appointment for a senior federal government office stir de...
Jan 21 , 2023
Eyob Tekalign, state minister for Finance, took to social media platforms last week t...
Jan 14 , 2023
The longing for normalcy and a semblance of individual and collective security in Eth...
Jan 7 , 2023
The hallmark of Ethiopia's contemporary leaders could be a fascination with grandeur...
I spotted this woman who was standing by herself at a"small" wedding ceremony I had a...
Or see contact page