Ready for service: new hotel rating system to take effect

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MoCT) will have the new hotel rating system in place by the end of the year.  Based on feedback from the UN World Tourism Organization the Ministry revised its rating system to better meet international standards.

UNWTO experts felt the hotels were not given sufficient time to prepare for the rating system and that the criteria needed to be clarified, Sisay said.

Now there has been more time and training and experts have visited European countries to get a comparison, the coordinator added.

The coordinator said that the new hotel rating system will encourage lodging areas to meet international standards.  Brand name chain hotels are expected to come to Ethiopia when the new system takes place.

Sisay Teklu, coordinator of Tourism Services Competence Accreditation Directorate with MoCT, told Capital that they are in the final stages of readying the assessment system.

He said that in the coming year all hotels in the country will have rates based on the new assessment system. There are over 300 hotels which are expected meet star rating standards, of which 100 are in Addis. The hotel industry has been growing rapidly due to international conferences and tourism.

As part of the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) the ministry office wants to make the country one of the top five tourist destinations in Africa.  Many experts feel Ethiopia has yet to reach the huge potential of its historical and natural attractions.

In the past fiscal year the country earned 500 million dollars from tourism, which is expected to grow up to three billion dollars by the end of the GTP.  By the end of the GTP it is hoped that 1.85 million tourists will visit every year.