International hotel operator Marriott has revealed that its acquisition in April of the South African hotel operator, Protea Hospitality, has helped increase its occupancy rates by 4.4% and RevPar (revenue per available room) by 3.9% in the Middle East and Africa region during Q2 2014.

Marriott International acquired Protea in a deal worth $200m, nearly doubling its presence in the Middle East and Africa, as well as, during the second quarter, opening a further two hotels under the brand addition, namely the Protea Hotel Lusaka Tower in Zambia and Protea Hotel Select in Lagos.

“On the 1st April, we completed our acquisition of Protea, leap-frogging our competition to become the number one hospitality company in Africa and the second largest operator across the Middle East and Africa,” said Alex Kyriakidis, MD for Marriott MEA.

“The positive results reaffirm the successful integration of Protea into the Marriott family.”

Arthur Gillis, the former CEO for Protea Hospitality, is continuing to develop Marriott International’s brands in Africa as the non-Executive Chairman for Africa Development.

Globally, the company added 162 new properties to its portfolio in the second quarter, 113 of them through the Protea transaction, and Marriot International’s CEO and president, Arne Sorenson has revealed plans to hire 10,000 employees across 13 different countries in Africa.

“We see in Sub-Saharan Africa a microcosm of what’s happening in the developing world, with a huge growth in the Middle class and 40% increase in travel spending since 2009. Travel in Africa is going to be great over the decades to come,” he noted.