ABN interviewed Leulseged Messle, president of Ethiopian Hotel Professionals Association in relation with “The Great Ethiopian Homecoming” highlighting the efforts and involvement opportunities for the diaspora community in the Ethiopian hotel and tourism sector, the trends and social significance in general.
- Let’s begin with your educational background, place of birth and other background information?
My name is Leulseged Messele and I was born in Dessie. I attended Etige Menen elementary school and W/o Sehin Comprhensive High School. Then I earned my BA degree from Kenya Utalli College in Hotel Management. The college is an esteemed hospitality and tourism college in Africa. I later earned my MA from London Metropolitan University in International Hospitality and Tourism Management.
In the professional wold, I served as General Manager in different hotels located in Nairobi, Mombasa, and London. I was also the General Manager at Tesco (London branch), which is a big European retail company.
I also served as board Director for Ethiopian hotel and tourism training institute (ctti and Genet Hotel), president of Ethiopian hotel professional Association and Board Director of Ethiopian tourism minister think tank team.
2. Please tell us about your involvement in the hotel and tourism industry?
What are some of the noteworthy works you have done?
Thank you very much. After coming back from London in 2014 as per the invitation of the Ethiopian government I led the Ethiopian hotel rating project. I served my country as board director at government levels in addition to consulting and giving training for Ethiopian hotels managers and owners. I was also invited by Bahir dar and Hawassa universities to guest lecture and share my knowledge on the hospitality industry.
- What is your reflection on the upcoming national event named “The Great Ethiopian Homecoming” and its contribution for the hotel industry in Ethiopia?
The great Ethiopian homecoming event is a great opportunity that benefits the economy of the county in the tourism and the hospitality service sector. It will revive the tourism industry with one million Ethiopian diaspora coming back as temporary tourists. During their stay, the community will use hotel and other hospitality services, boosting the industry morale and economy.
4. How do you describe the potential of the Ethiopian diaspora in its contribution to the hotel tourism development?
The contribution diaspora is very advantagous for the hotel and tourism sector in terms of investments in the sector. Not only the investments, but also, the community’s contribution is significant in transferring knowledge to the local Ethiopian hospitality and tourism sector professionals.
- It is to be recalled that Ethiopia recently launched Convention Centre for Ethiopian Tourism development. What would be its significance in convening Ethiopians and Ethiopian nationals once completed and becoming a source of economy?
Convention centres are among the key players in the convention industry, making a critical economic contribution to the destination.
These convention centres contribute a lot to employment and domestic income generation, nationally and regionally by increasing foreign exchange earnings for a nation. Aside from economic growth, conventions benefit Ethiopia through knowledge sharing, country branding, and create networking opportunities.
- What is your future plan of in areas that can engage the diaspora community? Is there a strategic plan in place that you can elaborate on? Elaborate on the way forward
We have an ongoing discussion to implement a DIASPORA TOURISM which will start in the coming July and August, 2022 since it will be convenient to hold discussions with the diaspora community since they always visit Ethiopia in the summer time.