Chinese hotel franchising giant to open a five star hotel in Ethiopia

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By Ruth Brook
Adwa will see the introduction of a new hotel franchise setting foot in Africa with Ethiopia as its first destination. Chinese company, Sunmei International, is opening a five star hotel – Rizti Hotel – in Adwa, Tigray region.
The expansion into the African market is not a new venture for the company, Sunmei launched into the continent in 2018 with hopes of opening two major hotel brands – IVY and Rizti – in Africa, with Ethiopia as the first location for both; these brands were created specifically for the African market.
Sunmei International is a joint venture subsidiary of Chinese company, Sunmei Group, with over 10 years in the hospitality business and 5000 hotels in Europe and Asia, the majority of which are in China. This is Sunmei Group’s first step in reaching their goal of building Africa’s largest hotel chain.
“Adwa is the first of many locations in Ethiopia that Sunmei hopes to franchise in. The company is currently looking into opening a Rizti franchise in Mekelle, Hawassa and Bahir Dar,” said Eden Tadesse, Sunmei Brand and Marketing Manager.
Plans for the hotel are underway, with Sunmei planning to have Rizti sit on 7,000 square meters in Adwa with 203 rooms.
“Our company handles everything related to hotels, design, construction, renovation, decoration, and consultancy and marketing materials, all from China,” said Jack Sun, Sunmei Business Development Manager.
A subsidiary of the Sunmei Hotel Group, Rizti Hotel is a 5-6 star hotel; it affiliates art and culture into the travelling experience and aims to provide a sanctuary for global travelers.
The Rizti hotel in Adwa is set to open in a short period of time, Eden announced.
The first IVY hotel is also currently under construction, with plans of opening in the next 6 months in Area 22, Addis Ababa. IVY Hotels hold a 3-4 star rating and are designed to be an economic chain hotel with a target market of “business economy”.
The company closely monitors their hotels to make sure they uphold the set standard.
“If they meet our standard we just do light renovation and decoration, there will be franchise fees they have to pay,” Eden explained.
The franchise company is ranked 16th in the world and 5th in Asia. Sunmei Group is looking to expand both IVY and Rizti hotels in Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya in the near future.