Marriott adds 116 hotels in Africa in 2014 with Protea acquisition

Marriott International has announced a major deal to acquire Protea Hotels, one of Africa’s largest lodging companies with 116 hotels in seven African countries. In addition to 80 hotels in South Africa, Protea has hotels in Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria,Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

The acquisition of Protea in a $200 million deal will make Marriott the largest hotel operator in Africa. Marriott will have 138 hotels in Africa in 2014 with over 23,000 rooms when this deal closes. Accor is currently the largest major hotel chain in Africa with 113 hotels and 16,351 rooms. Starwood currently has 35 hotels in Africa and anticipates 50 hotels in Africa by 2015 and Hilton has 36 hotels in Africa.

Protea’s website states Protea has hotels in ten countries. Many of these hotels are luxury resorts in the African Pride Hotels collection.

Protea Hotels, founded in 1984, manages, franchises and leases hotels across the Protea Hotels brand (104 hotels), comprising a full and diverse range of outstanding hotels and resorts; the award-winning lifestyle boutique Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! brand (2 hotels); and the superior deluxe African Pride Hotels collection (10 hotels).  In addition to its industry-leading 80 hotels in South Africa, Protea Hotels has a significant presence in Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.


Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott International, said, “Africa has significant untapped potential for travel and tourism, both as a destination and source of new global travelers.  The continent’s GDP is anticipated to grow at over five percent annually over the next several years which we expect will raise more people into the emerging middle class.  With the Protea Hotels acquisition, our expanded footprint should allow us to become the first choice of Africa’s rapidly growing population of young, sophisticated travelers, and drive loyalty to our Marriott Rewards program both within Africa and globally.   Protea Hotels enjoys unparalleled brand recognition in Africa, and our combined portfolio of Protea Hotels and current Marriott International brands would create a platform for accelerated growth and new job growth in South Africa and across the continent.” 

Alex Kyriakidis, president of Marriott International for the Middle East and Africa, said, “The development cycle for opening new hotels in Africa is typically long due to the challenges posed by emerging infrastructure, so joining forces with Protea Hotels and their highly respected management team is the strongest way to jumpstart Marriott’s footprint in Africa.  The Marriott Middle East and Africa management team can deliver value and greater growth for Protea’s hotel owners by leveraging these terrific brands, represented by 116 hotels and more than 10,000 rooms in seven countries, with Marriott’s global sales, marketing and development infrastructure.  We believe this would also result in more job creation in South Africa and across the continent.”

Arthur Gillis, chief executive officer of Protea Hospitality Group, said “Protea Hotels has grown organically to become the largest and leading hotel group in Sub-Saharan Africa. Aligning with a global giant such as Marriott ensures we can realise the Group’s full potential for all of our stakeholders. In Marriott we have found a perfect fit across culture, values and commitment to industry leadership which will ensure that we remain at the forefront of African hospitality.”

Marriott Signs Letter of Intent to Acquire Protea Hotel Group’s Hotel Operations and Brands – November 7, 2013

Marriott is now a major hotel player in both Spain (AC Hotels) and South Africa (Protea Hotels) where the Marriott chain offers more than 80 properties in each country for Marriott Rewards members.

Exciting news on the loyalty front.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

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  1. Will be interesting to see how they fit in on the award chart. Some Marriott international properties offer good value vs domestic US properties due to lower award demand.

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