Industry Update
Press Release12 March 2019

AHIF Books Addis

The Africa Hotel Investment Forum Returns to Addis in 2019

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Ahif

The Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), which is the premier tourism and hotel investment conference in Africa, attracting many prominent international hotel owners, investors, financiers, management companies and their advisers, will return to the Sheraton Hotel, Addis Ababa in the last week of 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.

Matthew Weihs, Managing Director of Bench Events, which organises AHIF said: "Our delegates, sponsors and investors will all be pleased to return to Addis because it is an extremely well-connected, dynamic, developing destination."

For the past 15 years, Ethiopia has been blazing an impressive trail when it comes to economic performance, with GDP growth being in the high single digits. 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, aided by enlightened immigration policies. 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.

The country is blessed with a few significant assets which make it attractive to investors in hotels and other tourism related businesses. In addition to its strong economy and hub airport, Addis is the headquarters of the African Union, which makes it the most important destination for political and intergovernmental meetings in Africa. Indeed, hosting international meetings is a huge generator of foreign currency revenue. 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, $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.

AHIF is organised by the global event organiser Bench Events, which has a long track record of delivering multiple premium hotel investment conferences and forums across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Market leading annual conferences include the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) in Dubai, now in its 14th year, the South American Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference (SAHIC), the Aviation Development Conference (AviaDev) and the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF). Earlier this year, Bench launched the Forum de l'Investissement Hôtelier Africain (FIHA), a sister event to AHIF, designed to appeal to the Francophone countries of North and West Africa, in a bid to develop their economies and support hotel and hospitality investment.

About the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF)

AHIF is the premier hotel investment conference in Africa, attracting many prominent international hotel owners, investors, financiers, management companies and their advisers. It is organised by Bench Events (www.benchevents.com), who has a long track record of delivering multiple premium hotel investment conferences and forums across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Bench Events' mission is enabling prosperity by facilitating growth, networking, and thought leadership in the hospitality industry worldwide.
www.benchevents.com.

Sponsors of AHIF are: Platinum Sponsors: Accor, Hilton, Marriott International and Radisson Hotel Group; Gold Sponsors: Aleph Hospitality, Cabo International Partners, Citymax Hotels, Dream Hotel Group, Drees and Sommer, Grant Thornton, Hotel Partners Africa, Insignia, IHG, JLL, Munich RE, PrideInn, STR, Stuart and Partners, TIME Hotels, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts.

Related Event

Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF)

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Sheraton Addis, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Addis Ababa — Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
event information

About Bench Events

Global event organiser Bench Events has a long track record of delivering multiple premium hotel investment conferences and forums across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Market leading annual conferences include the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) in Dubai, now in its 13th year, the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) the new Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference (AHTIC), The Summit in London and the Latin American Hotel & Tourism Investment Conferences (SAHIC). Bench Events" extensive portfolio also includes the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) in Dubai and AviaDev, designed to promote the future air connectivity in Africa. Bench Events" mission is enabling prosperity by facilitating growth, networking, and thought leadership in the hospitality industry worldwide. www.benchevents.com

Contact
David Tarsh
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7602 5262
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