At the Africa Hotel Investment Forum in Kigali, Rwanda, Marriott International announced further expansion in Africa with seven new hotel signings. Marriott International first made significant investment into the continent with the purchase of Protea Hotels for $210 million in 2014, and is targeting over 200 hotels with 37 000 rooms open or in the pipeline by 2022. This will equate to around $8.5 billion of capital investment by its real estate partners.
“Africa today makes a very compelling story. We are seeing unprecedented traction for our compelling brands, driving our momentum of growth,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “We have always believed in the potential of Africa and the opportunities the continent has to offer. With economic growth, a rising middle class and rapid urbanization, the demand for travel and high quality lodging is growing, providing us with a significant opportunity to enhance our footprint and play our part in supporting many emerging markets across the continent,” he added.
Today Marriott International hotels are present in 20 African countries: Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia. The company is expected to foray into new markets including Benin, Botswana, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, and Senegal and has signed 1300 new rooms marking the debut of Marriott International into Côte D’Ivoire while strengthening its presence in existing markets including Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria.
Earlier this year, Marriott International had announced the debut of The Ritz-Carlton brand in the exotic Zanzibar Archipelago with the signing of The Ritz-Carlton Zanzibar, the 90 room all suite and villa luxury resort as well as the debut of Aloft into Mauritius with the signing of Aloft Port Louis, the brand’s first adaptive reuse project in Africa.
Commenting on the extraordinary pace of hotel signings and openings this year, Kyriakidis said, “Signings and openings form the cornerstone of our aggressive growth strategy. Our history and legacy on the continent and the strong foundations we have built over the years serve as a springboard for our future growth. Our brands are resonating with the aspirational and fast growing middle class in the region. Our strengthened footprint and increased distribution is driving market share and building loyalty which makes us more attractive to investors than ever before.”
The company debuted the Four Points brand in Tanzania last week with the opening of Four Points by Sheraton Arusha, The Arusha Hotel and is now gearing up to open the Four Points by Sheraton Dar es Salam, New Africa Hotel. Earlier this year the brand debuted in Kenya with the opening of Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Hurlingham and is now expected to open its second hotel in Kenya, Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport in the next couple of weeks.
In Egypt, the company recently reopened Sheraton Cairo, a city icon for over four decades, after extensive renovation. It is now looking to debut its renowned luxury brand St. Regis, with the opening of the spectacular St. Regis Cairo, a highly anticipated addition to the company’s luxury portfolio in the country.
Marriott also recently opened Protea by Marriott Owerri Select in Nigeria. Other forthcoming openings over the next couple of months include Sheraton Bamako which marks the debut of Marriott International in Mali, Protea Hotel by Marriott Constantine, the brand’s debut in Algeria and the Accra Marriott Hotel, the debut of the flagship Marriott Hotels brand in Ghana.
Today, Marriott International has a strong footprint across the continent operating 140 hotels with close to 24,000 rooms across 12 brands.