The business of hospitality in Addis Abeba is booming, and many residents are trying to cash in by converting small homes and villas into guest houses.
Many are individually owned and already operating as small pensions or boarding houses that are upgrading to a status of a guest house certified by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Such an establishment is Genet Guest House, a four-storey building located around Haya Hulet area which was once a pension. Six years ago the establishment was upgraded to a guesthouse at a cost of 170,000 Br.
“We upgraded all our service and the quality of our furniture,” said Eden Genet, the manager, adding that being registered as a guest house service brings in more business.
“Unlike pensions, we provide a silent environment, privacy and wider services, like breakfast,” she said.
A room at Genet costs around 400 Br a night for Ethiopian customers. Foreign guests, who generally stay for longer periods, pay 25 to 35 dollars a night.
“I used to get around 130,000 to 140,000 Br per month, the revenue can go higher if it is a holiday season,” Eden said.
Guest house certifications are provided by the ministry office at the district level. According the head of the Lideta District Administration, Andualem Getahun, there is a set of standards for both residences and pensions looking to upgrade into guesthouses.