FILE - In this Tuesday, April 30, 2013, file photo, a man works on a new Marriott sign in front of the former Peabody Hotel in Little Rock, Ark. Hotel group Marriott International said it expected to add 19 new properties and more than 3,000 rooms to its Middle East and Africa portfolio. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

JOHANNESBURG - Hotel group Marriott International said on Monday it expected to add 19 new properties and more than 3,000 rooms to its Middle East and Africa portfolio in 2019. 

It said the new additions were in line with the company’s expansion plans to add more than 100 new properties and nearly 26,000 rooms across the region by the end of 2023.

The hotel group said its development pipeline through to 2023 represented up to $8 billion of investment from property owners and was expected to generate over 20,000 new jobs across the region.

"Our growth across the Middle East and Africa is fuelled by a strong demand for our diverse range of well-established brands, each offering different attributes that cater to this region’s ever changing and evolving marketplace,”Marriott International chief development officer for Middle East & Africa Jerome Briet said.

"This region continues to present us with opportunities to further grow and enhance our portfolio across new and established markets.  While the majority of our growth will be through new-builds, we are seeing an increasing number of conversion opportunities, especially in the luxury space.”

So far this year, Marriott International has opened five new properties in the region and expects to have some 270 properties and over 60,000 rooms across the Middle East and Africa by the end of the year.

- African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa