Marriott International Inc. may build 40 to 50 hotels in Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt each by 2020 to benefit from a surge of travelers, said Alex Kyriakidis, the chain’s president for the Middle East and Africa.

The plan is to add 10,000 hotel rooms apiece in Africa’s three biggest economies, targeting “super growth” based on their economic potential and tourist attractions, Kyriakidis said today in an interview in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

“We see tremendous growth opportunities in Egypt,” he said. “As Nigeria’s economy powers on, the demand for hotel rooms is going to be substantially greater.”

The Bethesda, Maryland-based company sees the region as its highest revenue-growth market to 2020, Kyriakidis said. The owner of brands including Ritz-Carlton and Renaissance is boosting its presence in Africa after purchasing Cape Town-based Protea Hospitality Holdings for about $200 million in April.

It will open nine hotels with a total of 1,300 rooms in the next 14 months in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana, Uganda and South Africa, Kyriakidis said.

Occupancy rates at the chain’s hotels in Egypt’s capital, Cairo, and at Red Sea resorts have increased to 60 percent to 75 percent from 30 percent to 45 percent since the May election of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, he said.

Security concerns in Nigeria triggered by deadly bomb attacks won’t deter Marriott from further investment in the West African nation as the company is planning over the long term, Chief Executive Officer Arne Sorenson said in June.

The company is also boosting its presence in the Middle East, where it’s focusing on the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, said Kyriakidis.

To contact the reporter on this story: William Davison in Addis Ababa at To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at

Photo Credit: A standard room at the Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge on the waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa. John Hickey-Fry / Flickr