In 1984, at a time when South Africa was beginning to feel the consequences of international isolation and sanctions, and when the tourism and hospitality industries faced bankruptcy and failure, Protea Hotels was launched – without a cent of capital and with just four hotels. Under the leadership of Arthur Gillis, the Protea Hotels Group grew to over 130 hotels operating in 7 African countries, and is today the largest and leading hotel operating company in Africa.
Protea has twice been voted Africa’s Best Hotel Group at the World Travel Awards, won 3 of South Africa’s Top Hotel Brand in the South African Sunday Times/Markinor Top Brands Survey and 6 Coolest Hotel Group awards in the Sunday Times Generation Next Awards.
In 2014 Marriott International purchased Protea Hospitality Holdings’ 3 brands and management company. Protea’s alignment with a global hospitality giant such as Marriott ensures that Protea Hospitality Group can realise its full potential and that Marriott will gain a substantial footprint in sub-Saharan Africa.
Arthur is currently the CEO of Platinum Hospitality Holdings, a leading hotel asset management company with approximately 20 hotels in South Africa, and the Non-Executive Chairman, Africa Development for Marriott International.