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Marriott To Open 30 Hotels In S. Africa By 2020

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Marriott International will open 30 new hotels in South Africa by 2020 as it seeks to expand across the continent following its ZAR2 billion rand (USD$190 million) buyout of Protea Hospitality, a senior official said.

The New York-listed hotel group is targeting the bulk of its additional growth in Nigeria, Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, as it aims to triple revenue and rooms to 75,000 across Africa and the Middle East within six years.

The hotels under construction in Africa, which will have a total of 5,000 rooms, will require around USD$1.5 billion of investment by its real estate partners, Marriott's Middle East and Africa head Alex Kyriakidis said in Cape Town

"We wanted to target countries where... we would get maximum bang for our buck in terms of multiple hotel opportunities," Kyriakidis said.

Marriott, historically focused on Arabic-speaking North Africa, overtook competitors in Africa when it announced the acquisition of 166 hotels from unlisted South African chain Protea Hospitality in January.

Marriott is now the largest hotel operator in Africa with 125 hotels and 14,000 rooms in 10 countries.

(Reuters)

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