In a move telltale of Ethiopia's continued aspiration to bolster its tourism sector, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) presided over the inauguration of the expanded Skylight Hotel on Friday, May 5, 2023. Flanked by Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tasew and its Board Chairman Girma Wake, the 155 million dollar expansion positions the property as the largest on the African continent. The Skylight Hotel's newly expanded capacity of 1,024 rooms is unlikely to go underutilised, given Ethiopian Airlines' status as the continent's largest airline, transporting an average of over 13 million passengers annually.

Located a mere stone's throw from the international airport on the bustling Africa Avenue (Bole Road), Ethiopian Airlines owns and operates the Skylight Hotel. Its expansion can be a testament to Abiy administration's desire to foster a tourist-friendly environment, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, civil war, internal conflicts, and political unrest that have marked the past four years.

The need for the ongoing renovation of Ethiopia's tourist attractions to achieve the sector's financial goals, believes Aisha Yahya, chairwoman of the Standing Committee of Trade & Tourism. She cited Nech Sar National Park, Abajifar and Gonder palaces, and the Martyr's Monument in the capital as examples of touristic assets requiring timely upgrades.

As Ethiopia marks the first anniversary of the November peace treaty, many within the tourism industry anticipate a corresponding surge in visitor numbers.

PUBLISHED ON May 06,2023 [ VOL 24 , NO 1201]

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