Marriott to open 30 new hotels in SA

Cape Town - Marriott International will open 30 new hotels in South Africa by 2020 as it seeks to expand across the continent following its R2bn buyout of Protea Hospitality, a senior official said on Monday.

The New York-listed hotel group is targeting the bulk of its additional growth in Nigeria, Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, as it aims to triple revenue and rooms to 75 000 across Africa and the Middle East within six years.

The hotels under construction in Africa, which will have a total of 5 000 rooms, will require around $1.5bn of investment by its real estate partners, Marriott's Middle East and Africa head Alex Kyriakidis told the Reuters Africa Summit.

"We wanted to target countries where ... we would get maximum bang for our buck in terms of multiple hotel opportunities," Kyriakidis told Reuters in Cape Town.

Marriott, historically focused on Arabic-speaking North Africa, overtook competitors in Africa when it announced the acquisition of 166 hotels from unlisted South African chain Protea Hospitality in January.

Marriott is now the largest hotel operator in Africa with 125 hotels and 14 000 rooms in 10 countries.
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