Marriott recently completed the approximately US$200 million acquisition of Protea Hotels and its sub-brands, African Pride Hotels and Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! in a move that secured its position as the largest hotel operator on the African continent. This announcement marks the latest phase in the integration of Protea Hotels within the Marriott International portfolio of brands.
In the first quarter of 2014, Marriott.com accounted for more than 26 percent of Marriott International’s roomnight bookings worldwide, or one-third of the company’s transient business. In addition, 40 percent of Marriott.com traffic came from mobile devices.
Prior to the acquisition, Marriott International was already operating 10 hotels across the African continent, but Protea adds a further 116 properties bringing the total Middle East and African presence to 162 properties in 18 countries. Marriott International’s pioneering strategic move into Africa is set against a backdrop of burgeoning economic growth throughout the continent, with the World Bank expecting in excess of 5 percent growth in sub-Saharan Africa through 2015.
Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director of Marriott International Middle East and Africa commented on the announcement saying, ‘I am delighted that just a few weeks after the acquisition of Protea Hotels our valued guests have access to the portfolio of hotel options continent-wide and globally across our entire range of brands. Clearly this has been an unprecedented growth phase for our regional business but this is only given context and meaning when we can connect our guests with the experience. This is happening now and it heralds the start of a completely new chapter in the history of Marriott International.’