Ethiopia sees ‘surge’ in MICE growth

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Addis Ababa, 31 July 2014 (WIC) - The Africa Hotel Investment Forum recently announced it was moving its 2014 event to Addis Ababa.

The organisation said the move was prompted by a “surge in interest from sponsors” leading to a need for a bigger space. It will now be held at the Sheraton in September. This reflects growth in the country’s nascent meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) activities.

The African Union Commission is also based in Addis, in the striking, 100m-tall AU Conference Centre complex, built and funded by the Chinese. The United Nations Conference Centre has a wide choice of events spaces; and international hotels with MICE facilities include Sheraton, Radisson Blu, Hilton and Intercontinental.

A growth in summits and conferences taking place in Ethiopia has prompted Ethiopian Airlines’ in-house tour operator, Ethiopian Holidays, to develop MICE services alongside its leisure products. The operator can capitalise on its leisure portfolio for MICE venues – such as the handsomely-appointed Haile Resort overlooking Lake Hawassa, owned by Olympic gold medallist runner Haile Gebrselassie.

Other venues include the Kuriftu group’s Diplomat restaurant in Addis; its luxury lakeside spa resort in Debre-Zeit; and in Ziway, its excellent Wine House and Restaurant – in partnership with the nearby wine estate run by leading French vintner Castel. (