Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Marriott Hotel Comes to Addis

The Ethiopian based Sunshine Business Plc, a wing of Sunshine Construction, will be the fourth company to open and international chain hotel.

On Thursday May 10 the company signed a management contract deal with Marriott International for the two hotels that will open in 2012 and 2015 respectively.

Almost ten years after the opening of the third international brand hotel since the Sheraton Addis, and around thirty years after the Hilton Hotel the hotel management contract agreement will give full rights and responsibility for Marriott to manage Marriott-Sunshine Executive Apartment Hotel and Sunshine Courtyard. According to Samuel Taffese, owner of Sunshine, Marriott-Sunshine Executive Apartment Hotel the first phase of the hotel project will open in the end of this year, which will be located in Jomo Kenyatta Street close to Meskel Square. He said that the project will consume 33 million dollars and the hotel will have five star hotel facilities. “The Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, the second phase of our hotel development, which will be built in front of Bole Medhanialem Church close to Bole International Airport, offers a transit market with its 215 guest rooms, a conference facility with 1,200 seats, a swimming pool, fitness and spa facility with two restaurants and other facilities,” Samuel said. This hotel will open in April 2015 and it will consume 38 million dollars. Sunshine is popular in the construction sector mainly in road and real estate investments. The company, which is involved in various private and governmental projects in the last 28 years, is also investing in the hotel and tourism sector. The hotel investment will create 650 job opportunites. Marriott’s statement indicated that this marks Marriott International’s first foray into the country and is a sign of the company’s confidence in the market.

Marriott International has projected that by 2018, the new Courtyard by Marriott branded hotel’s total revenue will be 242 million birr (13 million dollars) per year, equating to 1 billion (65million dollars) injected into the economy over five years from only one 209- room hotel.

“A lack of quality supply of hotel rooms in the market combined with growing airline numbers, a rising economy and a growing urban population give us strong confidence in this city and market,” Alex Kyriakidis, the company’s Middle East and Africa president said.

The two companies have spent five years on negotiations to work together in the hotel business. Experts in the Ministry of Culture Tourism told Capital that the in the past decade the country has registered good success in hotel and other modern hospitality industries. “For instance, the country consumed close to three decades to get the second chain hotel after the establishment of Hilton Hotel, the first chain hotel owned by the government,” the expert said.

Hilton opened in the era of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1970, while Sheraton is the second luxury collection that joined the hospitality industry a little over one decade ago. A few months ago the third international chain hotel, Radisson Blu that consumed 500 million birr,opened its door for guests. When the fourth hotel joins the market Samuel would be the first Ethiopian based investor to open an international brand hotel in the country.

Sheraton ,established by Ethiopian born Saudi business tycoon Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Ali Al Amoudi and  Radisson Blu hotels are owned by foreign based companies or citizens and Hilton is also owned by the government of Ethiopia.

As well as Ethiopia, Marriott International is focusing its growth on Benin, Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria and Rwanda, with a number of new properties scheduled to open over the next five years. “We are thrilled by the robust expansion of our African hotel portfolio,” said Kyriakidis.

Marriott International is one of the leading lodging companies based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA with more than 3,700 properties in 73 countries and territories and reported revenues of over 12 billion dollars in the 2011 fiscal year.  The company operates and franchises hotels under 15 brands, including Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari, Edition, Renaissance, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, ExecuStay, and Marriott Executive Apartments.  The company also licenses vacation ownership resorts under three additional brands: Marriott Vacation Club, Grand Residences by Marriott, and The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club.  There are approximately three million  employees at the  headquarters, managed and franchised property locations.