Tourism in Ethiopia is on the rise. Last fiscal year alone, nearly one million tourists visited the country – and the government plans to have that figure increase to 2.5 million by 2020. This growth, however, may not necessarily prove beneficial for Ethiopia’s hotel industry, as an increasing number of tourists prefer to stay in guest houses as opposed to hotels. According to one study, Ethiopia’s hotels average a 60Pct occupancy rate, despite the growth in the number of tourists each year. Many travellers note that their preference for guest houses is rooted in the fact that they offer a cheaper, more intimate alternative to star-rated hotels. Hoteliers in the country charge that these businesses need to be better regulated and managed. Consultants, however, say hotels need to reduce their costs if they don’t want to continually lose customers. EBR’s Fasika Tadesse spoke with tourists, government officials, hoteliers and guest house owners to learn more about the nuances of the debate.