LE: Global hotel-construction pipeline ends 2019 at record high

The total global hotel-construction pipeline hit record highs at the close of 2019 with 15,000 projects and 2,454,954 rooms, according to Lodging Econometrics’ "Global Construction Pipeline Trend Report." Year-over-year, projects increased 11 percent and rooms rose 8 percent.

The global pipeline has grown for nine consecutive years after reaching its cyclical low, by rooms, in 2010. Four of the seven regions of the world continue to have pipelines trending upward, year-over-year. The exceptions are Latin America, Africa and, with counts essentially even, the Middle East.

There are 6,859 projects with 1,217,662 rooms currently under construction worldwide. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months and projects in the early planning stage are at all-time highs and stand at 4,533 projects/654,474 rooms and 3,608 projects/582,818 rooms, respectively.

The United States ranked as the top country by project count with 5,748 projects/708,898 rooms, slightly short of its all-time high of 5,883 projects/785,547 rooms, which it set in the second quarter of 2008. China reached a new all-time high with 3,526 projects/643,435 rooms. The U.S. accounted for 38 percent of projects in the total global construction pipeline while China represented 24 percent. By project count, Indonesia came in a distant third with 367 projects/60,354 rooms, followed by the United Kingdom with 346 projects/49,651 rooms and Germany with 339 projects/61,836 rooms.

Around the world, the cities with the largest pipeline counts were Los Angeles with 168 projects/28,501 rooms; Dallas with 160 projects/19,787 rooms; New York City with 158 projects/25,825 rooms; Dubai with 152 projects/46,941 rooms; and Chengdu, China, with 134 projects/27,864 rooms.

The leading franchise companies in the global construction pipeline by project count were Marriott International with 2,799 projects/471,843 rooms, Hilton with 2,414 projects/354,515 rooms; IHG with 1,777 projects/263,710 rooms; and Accor with 912 projects/161,868 rooms. These four companies accounted for 53 percent of all projects in the global pipeline.

Brands leading in the pipeline for each of these companies were Hampton by Hilton with 744 projects/98,206 rooms; IHG’s Holiday Inn Express with 712 projects/90,254 rooms; Fairfield Inn by Marriott with 431 projects/49,917 rooms; and Accor’s Ibis with 338 projects/47,477 rooms.

In 2019, the world opened a total of 3,159 new hotels/446,911 rooms. As a result of the current global pipeline being at an all-time high, Lodging Econometrics predicted new hotel openings will continue to climb with 3,298 hotels expected to open in 2020. In 2021, it forecasted new openings will accelerate further to 3,415 hotels.

Lodging Econometrics noted COVID-19 did not impact any Q4 totals it has reported. With confirmed cases continuing to increase, it said it is still too early to predict the full impact the outbreak will have on the lodging industry.