New bureau to promote meetings, exhibitions

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A new convention bureau was opened last week in Addis Ababa. The organization will work with the city with the goal of hosting more international meetings, exhibitions, conferences and incentives.
Its specific mission will be to promote and market the city as a place for meetings and conferences and develop / strengthen the network of all related providers and products at the city level while supporting bids for international conferences and meetings.
The new office dubbed ‘Addis Ababa Convention Bureau’ directly submits to the mayor’s office and currently is in the recruiting and planning phase.
A statement from Vice Mayor, Takele Uma reads that the new bureau will be directed by Kumneger Teketel who has been working in the tourism and hotel industry for over ten years.
“The opening of the bureau is part of our strategy to entrench Addis as a leading global destination for business tourism and to increase our annual share of global events. We want the Addis to be a player in the global business tourism market as a venue of choice for conventions, meetings, incentives and mega-events.
“The bureau not only will focus on business and leisure tourism, but also investment and other business opportunities in the city,” Takele said.
After the opening of the bureau some international operators like Radisson Hotel Group, InterContinental Hotel Groups – IHG, Jing Jang holdings Louvre Hotels Group sent their congratulations letter to the mayor showing their interest to support the city in promoting MICE industry.
The new director, Kumneger told Capital that he will do his best to bring good results.
“We are working on the Main organizational structures and composing International partners from international hotel brand Operators, international MICE global leaders, top senior qualified MICE players. The mayor is working on it seriously to bring the city as one of the top MICE destination in Africa in short period of Year.”
“As a responsible citizen, we should support our beautiful nation with our professional experience and expertise at this critical moment. My plan is to level Addis Ababa as one of the first three meetings, incentives travel, conference and exhibition destinations in less than two years.”
“We believe that the bureau will be a great new asset to the hospitality industry and a perfect opportunity to increase the number of business travelers to Ethiopia and Addis Ababa and we want to invest more in conference tourism as to get a share from the USD300 billion generated annually from global conference tourism,” he said.
At the federal level the government is working with tourism consultant Rick Taylor to open the bureau in Addis Ababa.
The planned Ethiopia National Convention Bureau (TNCB) will oversee all MICE-related activities at national and international levels to compete with Rwanda and South Africa and Kenya.
Rwanda and South Africa have been rated the leading African nations in conference tourism.
The Rwanda Convention Bureau was established in 2014. In 2016, the Rwanda Convention Bureau managed to organize about 40 international meetings worth USD 47 million, according to sources from Rwanda Development Board (RDB).