JOHANNESBURG – The multinational, versatile catering company Marriott International announced plans for expansion plans throughout Africa on Monday, with the strong demand for select service brands and conversion opportunities stimulating growth momentum.
Marriott said the expansion would be strengthened by five new hotel signings, which would further consolidate its presence in Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and South Africa and mark the company's entry into Mozambique.
"The signing sessions put Marriott International on track to increase its portfolio by 50 percent with more than 200 hotels and 38,000 rooms by 2023 that will generate an estimated 12,000 new jobs," it said at the Africa Hotel Investment Forum in Nairobi, Kenya .
The planned growth of Marriott International strengthens the commitment to Africa and underlines the great emphasis that countries throughout Europe are placing on the travel and tourism sector. The company estimates that the five newly signed projects will drive the investment of more than $ 250 million by the property owners and generate substantial economic activity.
"The Marriott International acquisition of Protea Hotels followed by the acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has boosted our organic growth on the continent," said Alex Kyriakidis, President and managing director of Marriott International for the Middle East and Africa .
"Today we see strong ownership interests in our brands, supported by our combined loyalty program, the collective strength of our global platform and our highly experienced local teams."
He said that African economies have experienced an "unprecedented" rate of growth, mainly due to strong domestic demand, improved macroeconomic management and increased political stability.
"The continent is still under the capacity of branded goods and offers us a fantastic opportunity to grow our brands and increase our footprint", added Kyriakidis.
Marriott International is present in 21 African countries, including Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, etc. Uganda and Zambia.
It has been set up to expand into new markets, including Benin, Botswana, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Mozambique and Senegal.
The company said it continued to see the increased interest of owners, seeking to maximize the value of their assets quickly, with many conversion opportunities across Africa.
"The growing demand for conversion deals from new and existing partners is a strong reflection of the powerful network, loyal customer base and commitment of Marriott to deliver value for owners," said Kyriakidis.
"We have developed a conversion-friendly strategy that allows us to deliver value to our partners through a flexible, cost-effective process that delivers near-instant results, giving 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, Arusha Four Points by Arusha, The Arusha Hotel, Tanzania and Mena House in Cairo, which joined the Marriott Hotels and Resorts global brand portfolio earlier this year. .
Under the new conversion agreements, Marriott International has signed the Marriott Marrakech hotel in Morocco, which has more than 360 rooms and is scheduled to be redeveloped by 2020.
– African News Agency (ANA)