Jul 13 , 2020

Local businesspeople have started the construction of a star-rated hotel in the town of Debre Tabor, 667Km from the capital, with an estimated half a billion Birr investment.

Named Mulu Ferede International Hotel, it will be built on a 2,300Sqm parcel of land that is located inside the old Debre Tabor City Administration yard in Northern Gonder Zone, Amhara Regional State. The Hotel will have two basements, a ground floor and 15 storeys. It is expected to have 256 rooms, a conference venue, a restaurant, a cafe, a bar, a parking area and elevators.

Owned by an Ethiopian-born diaspora couple from the United States, the building will also feature rented space for shops, according to Kassahun Ayalew, general manager of the Hotel.

The building is designed in a U-shape, the first two grounds at the back side of the building will be rented to artisan shops and banks, while the rest will house a hall and rooms.

Started in March, the building is under construction under the supervision of Tsion Tesfay Consulting Firm, which was established two years ago and has previously designed two hotels in Meqelle - Adsinan and Geza Gerlas. The building is expected to be finalised in a maximum of six years. The construction of the Hotel has created about 250 job opportunities.

"We were hired for the project two years ago without a bidding process," said Tsion Tesfay, owner and architect of the eponymous firm.

The management of the Hotel leased the land two years ago and imported seven million Birr worth of steel from Turkey for the foundation works of the building in March.

“The second batch of steel is in the process of being imported,” said Kassahun. "Demolishing the old building of the municipality of the City Administration took over a year, delaying the construction."

Debre Tabor town, which has an estimated population of 82,355, does not have any large hotels, according to Agmasie Gebeyehu, industry and investment office leader in the administration of Debre Tabor, which has a little over 10 hotels.

"The town has only small hotels that do not have star ratings," he said. "The under construction Hotel will be the first of its standard and facilities."

During the first three quarters of the current fiscal year, the town hosted 44,000 domestic and 185 international tourists.

The country, with a population greater than 100 million, has 459 star-rated hotels, of which 170 are star-rated with 12,000 bedrooms located in the capital.

During the first nine months of the current fiscal year, a total of 541,145 tourists arrived in the country, generating less than 2.1 billion dollars in revenues. In the last fiscal year, the country bagged 3.2 billion dollars in revenues from the 811,604 tourists who arrived in the country.

The new Hotel will have a significant importance in terms of creating job opportunities, according to Tewodros Derbew, international tourism facilitation directorate director at the Ministry of Culture & Tourism.

“International standard hotels in regional towns are essential for the growth of the tourism sector,” he added.

One expert in the tourism sector appreciates the move taken by investors to build a high-quality hotel in a regional town.

If there is a suitable environment and better hospitality, it will allow the town to give better service to the tourism sector, according to Kumneger Teketel, managing director at Ozzie Hospitality & Management Consultancy.

“The hospitality industry of the town has been criticised," said Kumneger. "The new Hotel will hopefully bring change."

PUBLISHED ON Jul 13,2020 [ VOL 21 , NO 1055]

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