www.thereporterethiopia.com By Yonas Abiye

Cautioned to refrain from jacking up prices
More than 130 hotels at three-star level and above have been identified and given orientation to give priority to delegates coming here to attend the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), slated to take place between January 22nd and 30th The Reporter has learnt.

Ministry of Culture and Tourism Corporate Communications Director Gezahegn Abate noted that his office, along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is working with hotels in the capital on ways of delivering quality service to participants, expected to number upward of 1,000.

The director noted that discussions were held with hoteliers and other concerned bodies on Monday to encourage them to provide quality service at reasonable prices and to build the image of the country, as well as to coordinate utility services as well as security.

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He further said that, as part of the orientation, hoteliers have received training on crises response and management from the city’s emergency services.

He called on hoteliers to seize on the opportunity to attract potential clientele by providing quality service at reasonable rates. Both ministries have, meanwhile, cautioned hoteliers to refrain from jacking up prices in an attempt to take unnecessary advantage of the situation, he told The Reporter, adding that the two offices would keep an eye on hotels during the week-long event which will be held under the theme, “Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation,”.

Hoteliers are also expressing confidence that they have made “special preparations” in terms of food and accommodation, and are ready to welcome guests.

The Reporter has also learnt that most of the hotels, including 4-star and 5-star ones, have largely been booked by summit participants while some reservations have been made by tourists, for whom it is now peak season.

In this regard, some 90 percent of the rooms at Intercontinental Hotel and 75 percent of those at Capital Hotel have already been booked by AU guests, according to MoCT, it was learnt.

In a bid to ensure visitors’ safety during their stay in Addis Ababa, the police force is also said to be in full alert.

Leaders from African countries as well as elsewhere and representatives of continental and international organizations are expected to attend the summit.

The continental body is eager to start the year by giving prominence to corruption for the sake of the sustainable development of the African continent.

According to the AU’s agenda, the regular session of the Committee of Permanent Representatives is set to take place on January 22nd and 23rd, followed by the Executive Council, which will take place on January 25th and 26th.

These two events will culminate in the 30th Ordinary Session of the Heads of State of the African Union.

The 29th African Union Summit took place on June 27 in Addis Ababa under the theme, “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth”.

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