Marriott International has announced the opening of its new Protea Hotel by Marriott in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. The 90-room hotel was developed by African Capital Alliance, a West African-focused private equity firm, and Kunoch Limited. The development of the hotel was largely funded by the Capital Alliance Property Investment Company (CAPIC), a US$165 million real estate private equity fund established by African Capital Alliance in 2008.
Owerri is a unique hotel market in Nigeria, catering to a largely leisure tourist market and some business demand. The demand for hotel rooms heightens over the weekend and during festive periods, with the influx of indigenes and visitors from the major Nigerian cities. The bulk of commercial activity in Imo State is largely driven by the production of oil and natural gas.
Volker Heiden, Vice President Protea Hotels by Marriott, Marriott International, remarked that the hotel’s opening illustrates his company’s confidence in Nigeria’s potential. Marriott intends to commit to its strategy of growing in secondary cities across the continent, saying of Owerri that “the recent expansion of the city’s airport, will give the city better accessibility, which we are confident will further drive business travel.”