Ethiopia injects $98 million into hospitality industry

The Government of Ethiopia has provided 3.3 billion birr (about $98 million at current exchange rate) stimulus money to the hospitality industry to help the businesses engaged in hotel and tourism navigate through COVID-19 hardship.

Mr. Feteh Woldesenbet, President of the Ethiopian Hotel and Related Service Provider Employers’ Federation indicated that the Federation is still looking for additional support mainly freezing bank loan and interests of hotel owners at least for one year. He made the assertion this afternoon speaking with the state broadcaster-ETV.

The financial support from the government is the first sector specific designed by the Government of Ethiopia, according to Finance Minister of Ethiopia Ahmed Shide, who recently indicated the plan during the national COVID-19 response committee meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Recently the government through the National Bank of Ethiopia has provided 15 billion birr (about $445 million) for private banks to help them ease the burden of their customers such as, paying back their loans, as a result the partial lock-down.

The Ministry of Revenue of Ethiopia has also announced several incentives that help companies keep their employees on payroll. The incentives ranges from extension of tax collection period to tax reductions to the combines engaged in donations of money and their properties to the national COVID-19 response committee.

The hospitality industry mainly hotels in Ethiopia have been suffering after the global pandemic forced people across the world avoid international travels. Many star hotels in the capital Addis Ababa, have been complaining about drying of their business. Known as Africa’s political capital, Addis Ababa used to host several international conferences, which generate huge amount of revenue for the hotels and Ethiopia in general.

The latest tourist arrival data NewBusiness| received from the Ministry of Tourism shows that in the month of February 2020, the number of tourists arrived Ethiopia have declined by 47,758 from January 2020. Ethiopia has received a total of 67,125 tourists in January 2020 and 19,367 tourists in February 2020, according to the data of the Ministry.

Meanwhile in the following month (March 2020) the figure has started to grow and the total number of tourists arrived Ethiopia has reached 32,455. Compared to the total number of tourists came to Ethiopia in March 2019, the number of tourists who visited Ethiopia in March 2020 have declined by 26,584.