The hotel giant expects to increase its portfolio by 50%, with over 200 hotels and 38,000 rooms by 2023.
Marriott International has announced rapid expansion plans across Africa, the hotel colossus revealed at the Africa Hotel Investment Forum in Nairobi, Kenya, taking place this week.
Strong demand for select-service brands and conversion opportunities are driving the growth momentum for the company, which for now is being amplified by five new hotel signings.
Marriott says the new signings will further consolidate its presence in Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and South Africa and mark the company’s entry into Mozambique.
The signings put Marriott on track to raise its portfolio by 50% by 2023, with over 200 hotels and 38,000 rooms estimated to generate 12,000 new jobs across the continent, the company says.
Africa “under capacity”
Marriott International’s acquisition of South Africa’s Protea Hotels followed by the acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has given Marriott an impetus for “organic growth” on the continent, says Alex Kyriakidis, the company’s president and managing director for 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 says.
“African economies have sustained unprecedented rates of growth, which have mainly been driven by 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.”
Today, Marriott International is present in 21 countries on the African continent and is set to expand into new markets including Benin, Botswana, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Mozambique and Senegal.
It says that conversion strategy is spurring growth as it “continues to see increased interest from owners looking to maximise the value of their assets quickly, with many conversion opportunities across Africa”.
Recent conversions to the company’s brands include Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi, Hurlingham, Four Points by Sheraton Arusha in Tanzania and the “iconic” Mena House, Cairo, which signed up earlier this year.
Among new conversion deals, Marriott has signed the Marriott Marrakech Hotel in Morocco, which with over 360 rooms is slated to be rebranded in 2020.