Africa’s leading hotel booking website released an analysis of Ethiopian tourism industry

A report carried out by on a massive spectrum of factors that make up the tourism industry in Ethiopia has revealed key trends in the sector as well as distinctive opportunities in the industry.

The report indicates that although Ethiopia has tremendous tourism potential and exclusive historical sites, it has not fully utilized its potential. However, the contribution of tourism to income revenue in Ethiopia’s economy has increased over the last three years – from 17 billion Birr (US $ 814,730) in 2012 to 22.2 billion birr (US $ 1,063,942) in 2014. “Jovago’s presence in Ethiopia with customer service available in Amharic and English is going to further increase the revenue from the sector, digitizing the travel system in Ethiopia” said Abdesslam Benzitouni,  Head of Public Relations in Paris.

“Our main target is to ensure that travelling and hotel booking in Ethiopia is super-fast and accessible. Our wide range of offers include price, location, star ranking and room availability at all corners of the country” said Estelle Verdier, Managing Director of Jovago East and Southern Africa. “We are excited to launch this report at a time when the tourism sector has earned deserving priority and attention from the government” said Alexander Burtenshaw the newly appointed Country Manager of Jovago Ethiopia.

The demand for luxurious hotels remain in the capital city – Addis Ababa which is the third largest diplomatic city after  to New York and Geneva leads in the search for 4 and 5* hotels at 36%  and 17%. In other Ethiopian cities such as Gonder, Lalibela, Hawassa and Bahir Dar,  2 and 3-star hotels attract more customers.

A look at search trends by customers reveals a major interest in 2, 3 and 4-star hotels for both leisure and business travellers across the listed cities; while WiFi, swimming pools and air conditioning lead on the amenity list respectively. This shows that most tourists will not necessarily change their desired travel destination based on price factors, rather based on the perceived value of the amenities provided.

Although Ethiopia does not have online payment system, a large number of customers prefer to pay online rather than at the hotel upon arrival. The rising growth of online payments can be attributed to foreign travellers who book hotels with international credit cards. There is a huge potential for Ethiopia to catch up with the rising internet transactions across the continent. Once the system is installed and the law is ratified to implement ecommerce in Ethiopia, the country can be one of the leading eCommerce operators in Sub Saharan Africa Alexander said. This will boost the spread of online transactions and mobile money transfer platforms as well as the ability for most hotels to accept payment by card from anywhere in the world. On the other hand, 36% of customers opt for pay-at-the-hotel option due to lack of domestic online payment system.

Location demand by customer, which basically takes into account the destinations sought by the Ethiopian traveller predominantly points to Addis Ababa at 45% while Hawassa attracts 9% of total searches. The report further outlines the place of travel and tourism on the global map, as well as stating the challenges and opportunities in the sector. Of note is the fact that in spite of the sector shortcomings that has led to its current recovery period, tourism still takes the lead share in generating employment at 3.6%. The Ethiopian travel sector generated almost a million jobs in 2014. Tourism’s job-generation capacity by far exceeds that of  the other labor-intensive sectors such as leather, floriculture and construction.

The press conference was the first public appearance since opened its office in Ethiopia in May 2015 partnering with 500 hotels.

See full report here:

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