By Abebe Wolde Giorgis
Investing in hotel sector pays off
The inflow of tourists has increased from time to time. Considering the significance of the sector in increasing income, the Ethiopian government put leverage by supporting the sector to reach to the higher level. The expansion of training centers to supply qualified human power can be mentioned here.
Recently when the job fair and networking event launched which aim to announce a new hotel and tourism educational institution establishing project the Minister of Culture and Tourism Hirut Woldemariam said that, due to the rapid development of the sector the demand for qualified personnel is rising hence to meet the demand expanding training centers which produce professionals is essential.
According to Hirut, the sector is one of the emerging industry which contributes to the nation Growth Domestic Production similar to petroleum oil, food products and automobile industries and plays crucial role in job creation however, as compared to the other countries its competitiveness is beyond the required level therefore, supplying the sector with well qualified human resource is vital. She further said that, in order to continue its support to the sector, the government established the Tourism National Council led by the Prime Minister and implementing various projects.
The Addis Ababa Hotel Owners Association Chairman Benyam Bisrat on his part said that, The association is making an effort to reduce the sector man power shortage and is providing training to the hotel workers by local and foreign trainers.
By now, the association accomplished the first level study to establish international level hotel and tourism training institute which has its own 3 star hotel which serve for apparent ship. Students graduate from the institute will have a chance to get employment not only locally but also internationally.
It is understood that the establishment of the training institute can be possible through joint venture 50 per cent by private and 50 pr cent by public sector share holders which gives ways to strength private public partnership. To realize the dream Benyam asked the government to provide land for construction and other accommodation.
As to him the hospitality job fair and networking events provides opportunities for creating contact between 100 hotel owners and job seekers in which expected to create job from 3000 to 5000 people.
Indeed Ethiopia as the site of the origins of human kind tops the list in the region by having twelve UNESCO inscribed world heritage sites. The nation comparative advantage as tourism destination lies in the country being able to offer safe and unexplored resources with Addis Ababa serving as a diplomatic capital and regional hub for air transport. In addition, the country is in a strong position to offer attractive complementary with neighboring and well marketed destination such as Kenya and Tanzania.
Considering these, recently Ethiopia has increased its overall capacity to host foreign guests. According to the data from the Ministry of Trade the number of hotel rooms and in similar establishments ,grew at an annual average rate of 8.5 percent between 2008 and 2013 and accommodation rooms of all kinds by 10.3 percent between 2009 and 2012.Today there are more than 395 hotels providing19998 rooms. The establishment of the mentioned educational institution also further accelerate the sector growth. However, it is important to recognize that it is not only the number of rooms that should be considered but the extent to which these facilities responds to the demand of travelers and how they compare to international standard.
Konjit Ayele who live in abroad and engaged in hotel tourism business for long and currently she is on the way to establish new hotel here as to her, the key to achieving sustainable economic growth in the tourism sector depends on the quality of products and services delivery by professionals who have received appropriate, practical training before entering the job market. As tourism is part of the service industry, the development of skills to utilize an input to the hospitality is essential for successful and competitive sector. Contrary to these, shortages of appropriate and specialized core and skilled personnel in the sector and poor planning of the human resource development and investment in personnel drives down the economic potential of the sector.
She further said that, to be able to operate and compete successfully in the global market tourism service providers must have personnel who are creative and innovative and responsive to the ever growing challenges facing the sector.