protea_hotel_by_marriott_umhlangauMhlanga is gearing up for a bumper tourist season this December/January and, with the recent opening of the new 15-storey tower addition at the Protea Hotel by Marriott® Durban uMhlanga, the local tourism industry will be well placed to meet the demand for accommodation.

According to Mark Satterfield, Chief Operating Officer, Africa, for Marriott International: “Durban has experienced significant growth in its tourist numbers in recent years, and tourism statistics reflect that the December 2015 period saw an 8% increase in visitor numbers compared with the same period the previous year.  This is in line with our own research, which predicts rising visitor numbers and increased travel related spending patterns in the years ahead.” Durban recorded its highest tourist numbers in December 2015, with a total of 1.4 million visitors to the city. The increase in year-on-year figures bodes well for the future.

The large building project at the hotel, which involved two years of work, entails a substantial investment from the hotel owners into uMhlanga, which is well set to position itself as an upmarket location for both international and domestic travelers. The construction project is so large that “it is equivalent to constructing a whole new hotel,” according to Satterfield. “Through the addition of an entire new tower adjacent to the existing building, the hotel will be doubling its capacity for visitors.”

In addition to a new reception area and lobby, the project has added an extra 130 bedrooms and a restaurant, lounge and bar. This brings the accommodation to 250 bedrooms in total, with amenities to suit both corporate and leisure travellers.  With the positive spin-off for the tourist market of the additional accommodation, the business travel market will benefit too.

Reflecting the mood of the destination, the design of the new internal spaces embraces a relaxed yet modern style, complementing the sun-filled image of uMhlanga.  With its blue and white striped wallpaper, and walls lined with wooden sailing oars, the nautical theme of the décor creates a fresh and relaxing mood.

“Expanding and cementing our strong brand presence in the KwaZulu-Natal area has been on the cards for many years,” adds Satterfield. “With the opening of the expanded hotel, Protea Hotels by Marriott is certainly well set to service the traveller market in the most sought-after areas of the province.” 

About Protea Hotels by Marriott:

Protea Hotels by Marriott® is the leading hospitality brand in Africa and it is one of the most widely recognized brands in Africa.  The strategic footprint includes 100 hotels throughout South Africa and seven other African countries, including Zambia, Nigeria, Namibia, Ghana and Uganda amongst others.

Protea Hotels by Marriott® is ideal for both business and leisure travelers by offering properties in primary and secondary business centers and desirable leisure destinations.  Each hotel offers modern facilities, proactive and friendly service and consistent amenities such as full service restaurants, meeting spaces, complimentary Wi-Fi, and well-appointed rooms, ensuring global standards for a high quality, relaxed and successful stay.

Protea Hotels by Marriott® is the winner of 7 Coolest Hotel Group awards in the Sunday Times Generation Next surveys, the winner of the Ask Africa South African Customer Service Award 2013 and Icon Brand 2015, and the winner of the Hotels category in the Ask Afrika 2015/2016 Youth Brands Survey.  The hotel group was bought by Marriott International in April 2014 and forms part of Marriott’s global brand portfolio made up of 19 brands that operate more than 4,500 hotels in 87 countries.

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About Marriott International:

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is the world’s largest hotel company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 5,700 properties in over 110 countries. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts. The company’s 30 leading brands include: Bulgari Hotels and Resorts®, The Ritz-Carlton® and The Ritz-Carlton Reserve®, St. Regis®, W®, EDITION®, JW Marriott®, The Luxury Collection®, Marriott Hotels®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Renaissance® Hotels, Sheraton®, Delta Hotels by MarriottSM, Marriott Executive Apartments®, Marriott Vacation Club®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Tribute Portfolio™, Design Hotels™, Gaylord Hotels®, Courtyard®, Four Points® by Sheraton, SpringHill Suites®, Fairfield Inn & Suites®, Residence Inn®, TownePlace Suites®, AC Hotels by Marriott®, Aloft®, Element®, Moxy Hotels®, and Protea Hotels by Marriott®. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at, and for the latest company news, visit and @MarriottIntl

For more information contact:
Bonny Feldman
Senior Account Manager Irvine Bartlett
(+27) 21 462-4033
076 495 7167