One of the prominent and successful local businessmen in Ethiopia, Getu Gelete, first introduced international brand RAMADA to Addis Ababa. Now inspired by him, other businesses are following suit allowing the same brand extend its footprint in Ethiopia’s hospitality industry.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia :- The third diplomatic city in the world has been credited as one of the top and most preferred African destinations for hosting conferences. This is mainly because the city is a host for regional and international organizations such as the African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa and over a hundred embassies.
As a result, conference tourism has become one of the major revenue generators for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital and one of the highest cities on earth sitting at an altitude of well over 2000 metres.
Getu commercial center
Reports show the city administration has lately been investing a lot in improving infrastructures. On the other hand, the private sector has been investing heavily in services sector; a significant share of this goes to building hotels that can accommodate the ever increasing number of visitors to the city.
Growing by 10% on average, a total of 910,000 tourists have visited Ethiopia in 2015/16 fiscal year generating $3.4 billion dollars for the country, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Almost of all of these tourists have to pass through Addis before they go to their specific destinations across Ethiopia.
Naturally so, these growth in the influx of tourists has lured local investors to build dozens of new hotels in Addis Ababa and elsewhere in Ethiopia in recent years.
Among these is the latest inclusion to the list of prominent international brands, RAMADA Addis, located at the never center of Addis along its main Africa Avenue (Bole Road), just 2 kilometers from its Bole International Airport.
It all began when a well-known local investor, Getu Gelete, approached the RAMADA brand owned by WYNDHAM HOTELS GROUP. This was followed by several meetings where the Ethiopian business magnet convinced the WYNDHAM management about his plan to bring the RAMADA brand to Addis Ababa. “Initially it was not easy for me to convince them about the potential of Addis Ababa for the hospitality business,” Getu Gelete says.
The 12+ storey building Getu Gelete has constructed at a cost of $25 million is now glamorously branded RAMADA Addis and has been open for business for several months.
RAMADA Addis began operation in July 2016. The hotel has several unique features including the first Brazilian restaurant in Ethiopia on its 10th floor. The restaurant offers the best of Brazilian cuisine, exotic drinks and a fabulous line-up of live entertainment featuring Brazilian music, among other entertainment features.
The other unique features of RAMADA Addis include, the live entertainment in the open air Oak Bar and an all-day international dinning place in Chefs Club on its first floor.
In addition, Konnect Bar – the massive long bar at the lobby area – offers amazing classic and delicious bar snacks; also an ideal setting for relaxed cocktails and drinks.
Thanks to a smart move by Getu, today RAMADA Addis employs 250 people while The WHYNDHAM has recently concluded deal with other businesses to open three more hotels – two in Addis Ababa and one by Lake Langano, one of the most popular recreational sites in Ethiopia, some 200 kilometers south of the capital.
While Getu has obviously inspired both the RAMADA brand and other Ethiopian businesses to expand the brand’s footprint in Ethiopia, he has at the same time embarked on more investment in hospitality. For instance, Getu has entered into another venture with a different international brand; the soon to be announced hotel is now under construction in Addis, on the same Africa Avenue, just one kilometer from the airport. An additional hotel in Bishoftu, a lakeside town about 40 kilometres southeast of Addis is also under construction.
“My journey in search of investment opportunities to offer quality products and services in Ethiopia while at the same time benefiting my people and country through job creation and boosting tax revenue continues with the same passion,” Getu says commenting on what is next for his decades old business in Ethiopia.
Getu, who owns dozens of businesses creating jobs for thousands, is mostly known for his spectacularly tidy shopping mall, Getu Commercial Center a kilometer or so farther from RAMADA Addis, and closer to the city center but along the main Africa Avenue.