Marriott International, Inc. is expanding its presence in Africa with the signing of two new properties in South Africa, in partnership with The Amdec Group. Expected to open by February 2018, the 150-room Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch and 200-unit Marriott Executive Apartments Johannesburg Melrose Arch will be located in the Melrose Arch precinct in Johannesburg. The two properties represent the company’s signature brand, Marriott Hotels, as well as its upscale serviced apartments brand, Marriott Executive Apartments, and will be the first Marriott-branded properties under development in South Africa.
“Africa is important to Marriott International’s growth strategy because of its rapid economic growth, growing middle class and youth population, as well as the expansion of international flights onto the continent,” Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director, Middle East and Africa for Marriott International, said in a statement. “With over 850 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, there are enormous opportunities there.”
Marriott became the largest hotel operator in Africa following its acquisition of South Africa’s leading hotels group, Protea Hotels, in 2014. Over the next five years, the company expects the Marriott International brands, including the Protea brand, will expand from 10 African countries to 18, involving the development of an additional 38 properties across 7 brands.
Three new Protea Hotels have opened over the past year – the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Menlyn and the Protea Hotel Mowbray in South Africa, as well as the Protea Hotel Select Takoradi in Ghana. Further, construction has also begun on a new Protea Hotel in Zambia.
Marriott expects to complete its rollout of Marriott Rewards, the company’s loyalty program, to its Protea portfolio by the end of 2015. Protea guests will be able to earn and redeem Marriott Reward points across Marriott’s portfolio worldwide. Further, the company expects an increase in travel to South Africa by the more than 50 million Marriott Rewards members from around the world.
The Marriott Hotels brand currently has 17 hotels in seven countries across the Middle East and Africa, with almost 6,000 rooms. By 2020, the company expects to open a further 18 properties across the region, raising the room count by over 4,000 rooms. The Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch has 150 rooms as well as conference and event facilities that can accommodate up to 500 delegates.