Marriott opens first location in Rwanda

WASHINGTON — Two weeks after completing its acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Bethesda-based Marriott International Inc. has opened its first hotel in Rwanda.

“Rwanda is going through an economic transformation and we are proud to be a part of it,” said Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson, who attended the Kigali Marriott’s opening ceremony with political dignitaries and executives including Alex Kyriakidis, Marriott’s president and managing director of its Middle East and Africa region.

“Coupled with that transformation is a mutual promise for opportunity — both for Marriott as a hospitality company and for the associates and partners who will help us succeed in this market,” he said.

Travel and tourism generated 7.1 percent of Rwanda’s GDP in 2015, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council. Tourism in Rwanda is expected to rise by about 4 percent a year through 2025.

The 254-room Marriott in Kigali has created 500 jobs, the company said.

Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood created a hotel chain with more than 5,700 properties and 1.1 million rooms in more than 110 countries. The Starwood deal also more than doubled Marriott’s presence in the Middle East and Africa.

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up