Marriott International, a global chain of hotels and a leader in the hospitality sector, has announced plans for a robust expansion across Africa. The group expects to Increase its portfolio in the region by 50% with over 200 Hotels and 38,000 Rooms by 2023.
In an announcement issued from an event titled the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) in Nairobi, Kenya, Marriott International confirmed that a strong demand for select-service brands and conversion opportunities is driving the momentum of growth for the company, amplified by five new hotel signings.
The new signings will further consolidate Marriott International’s presence in Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and South Africa and mark the company’s entry into Mozambique.
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.
“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,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director for Marriott International in the Middle East and Africa.
“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,” he continued in a statement issued this week.
“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,” Kyriakidis added.
Today, Marriott International is present in 21 countries on the African continent, including: 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.
In fact, 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.
The company expects to introduce some of its other well-known select-service brands like Aloft Hotels, Element, Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn by Marriott with hotels already under development. It is also looking for opportunities to bring Fairfield by Marriott to the continent.
“As cities evolve and grow into flourishing urban centers, we will continue to see a lot of activity in this space. An international hotel brand can bring cachet to a project that positions it significantly above its peers. Our portfolio of diverse brands lends itself to grow in all markets providing developers the flexibility and choice to identify the right brand for the right location. We believe this also provides an incredible opportunity to develop branded residences with our luxury brands such as The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis and W Hotels and we are actively pursuing this. Today our brands account for nearly 60 percent of the global hospitality-branded residences market,” Kyriakidis commented.
“Africa is a very compelling story for us. With our history on the continent, our footprint and strong pipeline, a diverse portfolio of brands and a robust management infrastructure, we believe that we enjoy the trust and the confidence of Africa’s hotel development community,” he concluded.