Marriott International has announced its rapid expansion plans across Africa. The hotel chain said strong demand for select-service brands and conversion opportunities are driving its growth momentum. Hence, it has added five new hotels to its chain.
The company said that the new signings will further consolidate its presence in Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and South Africa and mark its entry into Mozambique. With the new signings, Marriott International is on track to increase its portfolio by 50 percent with over 200 hotels and 38,000 rooms by 2023. This is estimated to generate 12,000 new job opportunities.
“Marriott International’s acquisition of Protea Hotels followed by the acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has given an impetus to our organic growth on the continent. Today we are seeing strong owner interest in our brands, backed by our combined loyalty program, the collective strength of our global platform and our highly-experienced, local teams,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “African economies have sustained unprecedented rates of growth, which have mainly been driven by a strong domestic demand, improved macroeconomic management and increased political stability. The continent is still under capacity as far as branded hotel supply is concerned, presenting us with a fantastic opportunity to grow our brands and enhance our footprint,” he added.
Marriott International’s planned growth reinforces its commitment to Africa and underscores the substantial emphasis that countries across Africa are placing on the travel and tourism sector. The company estimates that the five new projects signed will drive investment of over $250 million by the property owners and will generate substantial economic activity.
Today, Marriott International is present in 21 countries on the African continent: Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia. The company is set to expand into new markets including Benin, Botswana, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Mozambique and Senegal.
Marriott International is also seeing increased interest from owners looking to maximize the value of their assets quickly, with many conversion opportunities across Africa. “The increasing demand for conversion deals from new and existing partners is a strong reflection of Marriott International’s powerful network, loyal customer base and commitment to deliver value for owners,” said Kyriakidis. “We’ve developed a conversion-friendly strategy, which allows us to deliver value to our partners through a flexible, cost-efficient process that yields almost immediate results. That strategy gives our partners access to world-class reservation systems and our loyalty program.”
Recent conversions to the company’s brands include Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi, Hurlingham, Four Points by Sheraton Arusha, The Arusha Hotel, Tanzania and the iconic Mena House, Cairo which joined the Marriott Hotels and Resorts global brand portfolio earlier this year.
Amongst new conversion deals, Marriott International has signed the Marriott Marrakech Hotel in Morocco. With over 360 rooms, the hotel is slated to be rebranded in 2020.