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Economic boost from Marriott’s expansion plan

Picture: Andrew Kelly

Picture: Andrew Kelly

Published Oct 7, 2016

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Johannesburg - More than R3 billion will be invested in South Africa by the Amdec Group for five Marriott International branded hotels.

These hotel developments are expected to have positive economic spin-offs, with about 8 000 construction-related jobs and more than 700 permanent new hospitality jobs expected to be created.

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Marriott International has further expansion plans for South Africa.

Alex Kyriakidis, the president and managing director for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) for Marriott International, said yesterday that the group would by 2020 have 77 hotels in South Africa, of which 60 were its existing Protea Hotels portfolio.

He said the 77 hotels and almost 10 000 rooms would make South Africa Marriott International’s third-largest market in the entire MEA region.

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Dialogue

“Our mission now is to grow the Marriott portfolio of brands right across the country. We are gearing up to do that. We have a lot of enquiries and a very healthy pipeline of dialogue with prospective (hotel) owners,” Kyriakidis said.

Three of the new hotels to be developed by Amdec in partnership with Marriott International are in Cape Town.

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They include a 200-room Marriott Hotel at Amdec’s mixed-use Harbour Arch development in the Culemborg node; a 189-room AC by Marriott at Amdec’s Yacht Club development at the gateway to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront; and a 150-room Residence Inn on Cape Town’s foreshore.

The Harbour Arch development is expected to open in 2019, while the ACT Hotel Cape Town Waterfront will be ready for guests from June 2018.

These new hotel developments, announced yesterday, represented an extension of Marriott International’s partnership with the Amdec Group. It follows the announcement last year of the development of the first two Marriott-branded hotels in South Africa at the Melrose Arch precinct in Johannesburg.

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A sod-turning ceremony took place for the 150-room Johannesburg Marriott Melrose Arch and 200-unit Marriott Executive Apartments Johannesburg Melrose Arch. Both are expected to open in 2018.

Of the expected 700 new hospitality jobs to be created in South Africa, 470 were expected to be created in the three new hotels in Cape Town and 320 in Johannesburg.

James Wilson, the chief executive of Amdec, said they were proud to pave the way for Marriott International’s growth plans in Africa and help to open up new markets for this leading hotel company.

Marriott International’s expansion in South Africa formed part of its growth strategy for the MEA region.

Kyriakidis said with the acquisition of Starwood Hotels, Marriott International had 140 properties and 25 000 rooms in 19 countries in Africa, employing 40 000 associates.

But Kyriakidis said the company had 60 hotels under construction, including the hotels in South Africa.

This would increase its presence to 27 countries and 200 hotels and about 37 000 rooms in Africa by 2025, with the total number of associates rising to 60 000, he said.

Tourism potential

Kyriakidis said the growth rate in the MEA region was about 33 percent, excluding any hotel signings they did over the next five years, which was the highest in Marriott International.

He said South Africa’s tourism had tremendous potential and 85 million members of Marriott Rewards would know all about the company’s presence in South Africa.

“We launched Marriott Rewards in this market with Protea last year and the uptake has been phenomenal. With the expanded portfolio and 85 million members, we are going to be promoting South Africa right across the world,” he said.

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