Cape Town, April 2016: With the construction of additional accommodation at the Protea Hotel Umhlanga – including the new 15-storey tower block – the beachfront region will now be ready to receive an expected increase in the number of travellers visiting the area. Likely to open in the 3rd quarter of this year, the timing is perfect to meet the demand for more rooms, especially during the year-end holiday season.

According to Danny Bryer, Director of Sales, Marketing and Revenue for Protea Hotels, a proud member of leading hotel group Marriott International: “Durban Tourism’s 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 spending patterns in the years ahead, despite the adverse economic conditions nationally.”

The total number of visitors to the city during December was 1.4 million, and these travellers injected a total of R3.4 billion into the local economy.

The large building project – begun in 2014 and now nearing completion – has also generated significant investment into Umhlanga, and enhances the area as an upmarket location for both international and domestic travellers.

According to Bryer: “This expansion is so substantial that it is the equivalent of constructing a whole new hotel. Through adding a tower block to the existing building, the hotel will be doubling its capacity for visitors.”

In addition to a new reception area and lobby, the project will add an extra 119 bedrooms and a restaurant, lounge and bar. After completion, the hotel will boast 240 bedrooms in total, with a mix of luxury rooms and semi self-catering accommodation to suit both corporate and leisure travellers.

The area – a hub for business – will no doubt benefit from the new conference rooms which can host up to 150 delegates, as well as an eight-seater executive boardroom.

Reflecting the mood of the destination, the design of the new tower block complex embraces a relaxed yet modern style, complementing the sun-filled image of Umhlanga with scenic and visually appealing architecture.

“Maintaining, expanding, and cementing our brand presence in the KwaZulu- Natal area has been on the cards for many years,” adds Bryer. “With this expansion and the recent work completed on the iconic Protea Hotel Edward on Durban’s Golden Mile, Protea Hotels is certainly well set to service the traveller market in the most sought-after areas of the province.”