MICE/Meetings, Convention Bureau and International Hotel Investment: New Approach

Abyssinia Business Network /ABN/

The term “MICE” in the context of travel is an acronym
for Meetings, Incentives Travel, Conferences/
Congress and Exhibitions/Events. The MICE market
refers to a specialized niche of group tourism
dedicated to planning, booking, and facilitating
conferences, seminars, and other events, which is a
big money maker in the travel industry.
The acronym has slowly been falling out of favor in
recent years, as some industry professionals hope to
move away from the affiliation with rodents. Instead,
many now refer to this niche market as the Meetings
Industry or Events industry in tourism.
However, using MICE to refer to this industry is useful
in that, it encompasses every component of this
particular travel market. Whether you’re looking to
organize a group outing for your company’s employees
(incentive) or you want to organize a big event focused
on the latest innovations in your field (conference),
MICE travel agents can help you book your itinerary.
Kumneger Teketel – Managing Director and Lead
Consultant of OZZIE International Hotel Projects
Consultancy, Award Winner of African Tourism
Legend 2018 & MICE ICON 2017 has recently been
appointed by a concerned government body as Director
of Addis Ababa Convention Bureau for the purpose
of establishment phase which is currently under
formation. He talks to ABN on the MICE concept,
Convention Bureau and International Hotel Projects.

ABN : Tell us about the recent Exhibition of 8th
Hotel Show Africa 2019 – Hospitality and Tourism
International Investment Tradeshow OZZIE have
organized at the Millennium Hall.

Kumneger : With all challenging environments, we try all our best level and unexpected issues always create major problem especially convincing International investors. Honestly, we faced big losses in connection to external challenges and supports. Similarly, we
faced serious damage and same happened on others
international expo and forum organizers. We’re tryed
to communicate the concerned bodies and I hope they
understood the issue and take necessary measures.

ABN : How do hospitality and tourism stakeholders
view the concept of MICE?

Kumneger : Regarding the issue of MICE or Meetings
Industry, 6 and 7 years back, no one was familiar
with the concept and I personally faced challenges
to create awareness among the general public and
concerned authorities. As a consulting firm, and
the voluntary organization to support the nation’s vision
in connection to tourism, we try to take some analysis
on challenges and catalyze the sector to guarantee
the return on investment of some of International
Standard Hotel Projects and upcoming Convention
Centers. On top of that, nowadays MICE or Meetings
The industry is a serious agenda of the government and all
stakeholders. This is a Big Step. Off course we need to
create deep understanding through education, forums
and practical actions. My Organization standstill on
MICE industry movement which has not yet begun
with deep practical actions. Understanding is the
First step. The future of tourism business in Ethiopia
depends on an in-depth understanding of the sector
and commitment of true players in the sector. We’re
witnessing on some important steps these days which
were looks encouraging like establishing Addis Ababa
Convention Bureau and Ethiopian MICE Tourism
strategy. Personality, I will try my level best to push the
the sector in an advanced way.

ABN : With your continued and relentless effort, you’ve
managed to see the establishment of the Addis Ababa
Convention Bureau at a Capital City level. What does it
have to do with hospitality and tourism?

Kumneger: Honestly, Addis Ababa City Administration has recently taken the first initiative. This is an
an important milestone for MICE Tourism. Once, the
Bureau efficiently functional, Our city will enjoy
and benefit from the sector especially in hunting
International meetings and exhibitions, controlling
and monitoring the quality of the meetings and events,
handling proper information and securing foreign
direct investments especially securing measurable and
a reliable source of Hard Currency. On the other hand,
at the National level, Ethiopia needs strong Ethiopian
National Convention Bureau at a Federal level. I hope
this will happen soon. Establishing the Bureau only is
not the final goal, rather powerful, active and trained
The Ethiopian team should be on board. The fruit will be
realized soon.

ABN : We have learned that you serve and head the Addis
Ababa Convention Bureau as a volunteer at the Capacity
of Executive Director; do you believe you would
properly manage the center without any payment?

Kumneger: My plan and appointment are not to run the bureau permanently, rather establish properly and handover to a permanent team that to be assigned by the Administration. I personally believe that all
Professionals in different sectors should contribute something to his beloved Nation as a Volunteer. It costs me too much however, I should sacrifice my time and benefit somehow. I hope the main Bureau will run properly in less than 6 months as per our master plan we set.
Then we can support the Bureau at a higher level.

ABN : What are the challenges to go forward with the
Challenges of Bureau?

Kumneger : Actually it is not a challenge in a negative
way. We set up an action plan that will solve the “
Challenge “. I hope the Administration will take it seriously and with a favourable environment, we can handle the Projects in a proper manner.

ABN : What is your vision concerning the Bureau?

Kumnger : My vision is to put Addis Ababa City as one
of the Top 3 MICE Tourism destinations in Africa in
less than 3 years.

ABN : What exactly does the country need to unleash
it’s potential in the hospitality and tourism sector?

Kumneger : Definitely Education and Exposure are vital.
We should take some best practices from advanced countries. Hospitality is a dynamic business model than in other sectors. As a nation, Professionals should be on board to use the potential of our country.

ABN : OZZIE Consultancy is strongly working on
International Hotel and Resort Projects and develop
New Concepts. How many Projects are on Pipeline and how do you see it?

Kumneger : OZZIE International Hotel Projects
Consultancy is one of the leading consulting firms in
Ethiopia, especially dealing with an international chain
hotel projects and the development of a new Concept for
MICE Tourism. We are handling now over 40 hotels
and processing over 28 International Hotel Projects
on a pipeline that is secured. As a nation with other
leading consulting firms, we secured over 45 signed
International Chained Hotels and Resorts Projects.
In connection to Technology transfer, development of Human Capital and creating a platform to use the resources by local Hotels, it will create a big impact on the Sector in a few years. OZZIE also has lots of conversions or rebranded local hotels to international chain brands that will give them leverage to join the international market. On top of that, we submitted other International MICE destination project proposals to the concerned body. We will officially announce such projects soon.

ABN : What about the level and quality of manpower
and technology in achieving the objectives of MICE
and Hospitality Sector?

Kumneger : That’s why I mentioned education is the key element. Universities should start programs on a specific subject. Using the proper latest technology benefits the sector. So Education, Exposure and
Technology supports the Ethiopian Tourism Sector to an advanced level.

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