Conference tourism is one of the fastest growing segments of tourism industry in the world (Kim et al., 2003). Ethiopia's position as a regional air transport hub and as a center for regional development and diplomatic institutions offers unique opportunities to capitalize on conference tourism segment. In this context, the overall objective of this research is to examine the challenges and prospects of conference tourism growth trends in Ethiopia. In order to achieve this objective, the research employed both qualitative and quantitative research methods. The survey research findings identified: lack of quality conference centers and related audiovisual equipments, absence of PCOs, absence of convention bureau and stakeholders networking forum and the overall institutional capacity limitations as the main competitiveness problem that underpin the conference tourism segment. This research outlined a number of practical implications. Key recommendations include the establishments of Ethiopian Convention Bureau and conference tourism stakeholder forum, incentive scheme for CT related investments, linking conference and leisure tourism and so on.
The author hails from Ethiopia where he obtained a BA degree in Geography at AAU and earned an MBA at the International Leadership Institute. He obtained training and certifications in the Tourism sector from several well-known institutions. Tesfa has been working as General Manager since 2016 at Wub Ethiopia Tours, the company.