(Corrects headline, lead and third paragraph to show investment
will be made by Amdec)
JOHANNESBURG Oct 6 Marriott International
said on Thursday that Amdec Group plans to spend 3
billion rand ($218 million) on five new hotels in South Africa
for the world's leading hotel company as it looks to tap into
Africa's growing middle class.
Marriott, which last month won final clearance to buy rival
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc, said three of the
hotels would be built in Cape Town while two are already under
construction in Johannesburg.
Amdec Group will inject the funds into the development of
the hotels as part of its growing partnership with Marriott.
"Africa is particularly important to Marriott
International's expansion strategy because of the continent's
rapid economic growth, expanding middle class and youth
population," Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said in statement.
The owner of upmarket chains such as Ritz Carlton and
Sheraton says the developments will lift its number of hotels on
the continent to more than 200, with 27,000-plus rooms.
The five hotels are expected to create 8,000
building-related jobs while under construction and more than 700
long-term hospitality jobs, Marriott said.
Marriott is already Africa's biggest hotel operator, having
bought leading chain Protea in 2014. The new hotels will operate
under the Marriott brand, the company said.
($1 = 13.7575 rand)
(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Ed Cropley and David