Marriott International has revealed plans to reach over 150 hotels across 16 African countries between 2014 and 2020.

Prior to the company’s acquisition of South Africa’s Protea Hotel Group in April, Marriott International had a base of 14 hotels and 10,000 employees in Africa.

The acquisition added 116 managed and franchised hotels to Marriott’s portfolio.

It also added approximately 10,000 rooms and 15,000 employees across seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa, making Marriott the largest hotel company in Africa.

Marriott International said that is looking to open nearly 40 additional hotels in Algeria, Benin, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Gabon, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tunisia and Zambia by 2020.

Marriott International president and CEO Arne Sorenson said: "It’s a great time to do business in Africa and Marriott is at the table helping to lead the discussion on trade and investment across the continent.

"African leaders are looking at ways to spur economic growth by lowering barriers, such as onerous visa regimes. Travel is trade and the more Africa embraces Smart Travel policies that encourage the free flow of people, the quicker growth will come."

Marriott’s first new-build Sub-Saharan Africa hotel – the Kigali Marriott Hotel – is slated to open in 2016 in Rwanda.

Image: Protea Hotel Umhlanga Ridge. Photo: courtesy of Marriott International, Inc.