The 2018 edition of AHIF (Image: Bench Events). The 2018 edition of AHIF (Image: Bench Events).

The Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) will return to the Sheraton Hotel, Addis Ababa on September 23-25, 2019.

AHIF was previously held in Ethiopia’s capital city in 2014 and 2015; the following two years, the conference moved to Kigali and last year to Nairobi.

According to the IMF, Ethiopia’s current GDP growth rate is 8.5%, surpassing every other country in Africa, except Libya. Its tourism sector has been growing strongly too. Last November, Ethiopia relaxed its visa regulations to enable all Africans to gain a visa on arrival and, later in the same month, ForwardKeys revealed that Addis Ababa’s Bole International airport had overtaken Dubai as the main gateway to Sub Saharan Africa. Three months later, in February 2019, a new airport terminal building was opened, doubling capacity to 22 million passengers a year.

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According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Ethiopia’s travel & tourism industry is responsible for 35.2% of total exports.  It is also a sector that WTTC predicts will continue to grow at 4.0% per annum over the coming decade.

By moving location every year or two, AHIF has provided direct economic benefits to various African cities. A recent economic study by Grant Thornton revealed that hosting AHIF brings, on average, US$1m in direct benefit to the local economy, an additional $1.4m in indirect benefit and a substantial six-figure sum in tax to the government.  The study also estimated the value of deals done at the conference to be $4.4bn.