From the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) in Nairobi, Kenya, Marriott International Monday announced rapid expansion plans across Africa.
Strong demand for select-service brands and conversion opportunities are 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.
The signings put Marriott International on track to increase its portfolio by 50 percent with over 200 hotels and 38,000 rooms by 2023 estimated to generate 12,000 new job opportunities.
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.
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.
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.
Conversion strategy spurs growth
Marriott International continues to see 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.
Select-Service brands in high demand
Marriott International’s select-service brands, including Four Points by Sheraton, Protea Hotels by Marriott and AC Hotels by Marriott, are experiencing unprecedented demand with vigorous expansion in both mature and emerging markets.
Marriott International has signed two new hotels under the Protea Hotels by Marriott brand including Protea Hotel by Marriott Accra Kotoka Airport, Ghana and Protea Hotel by Marriott Nairobi, Kenya.