Four megachains driving 55% of global pipeline

The United States leads the world's hotel pipeline by project count with 5,530 hotels and 669,456 rooms underway. Photo credit: Marriott International (This attitude was fully on display at IMN’s New Hotel Construction and Development conference, held Feb. 25 at the Marriott New York Downtown, in a city with a hotel construction pipeline that has risen 20 percent over last year. )

According to the Lodging Econometrics Global Construction Pipeline Trend Report, Accor, Hilton, IHG and Marriott International combined currently make up more than half of this pipeline.

LE research shows the project count as:Accor with 966 hotels and 177,052 rooms; Hilton with 2,252 hotels and 333,209 rooms; IHG with 1,716 hotels and 249,379 rooms and Marriott International with 2,544 hotels and 420,405 rooms. The total global construction pipeline hit record highs at the end of 2018 with 13,573 hotels and 2,265,792 rooms, a 7-percent increase in hotels and a 6-percent increase in rooms year over year.

The global pipeline has been ascending for eight consecutive years after reaching its cyclical low in 2010. All regional pipelines, with the exception of South America, continued their upward trend year over year. Lodging Econometrics analysts called this growth “notable,” considering economic growth rates started to decline in 2018 and are expected to slow further in 2019 and 2020. Four of the seven global regions reached all-time highs in 2018: Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Asia-Pacific.

There are a record-high 6,352 hotels with 1,172,591 rooms currently under construction worldwide. Hotels scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months are at 3,860 hotels and 572,483 rooms. Hotels in the early planning stage stand at 3,361rooms and 520,718 hotels, also an all-time high.

Top Countries, Top Cities

The top countries by project count are the United States with 5,530 hotels and 669,456 rooms—still short of its all-time high of 5,883 hotels and 785,547 rooms set in Q2 2008 just ahead of the global financial crisis, and China, whose pipeline reached a new all-time high with 2,761 hotels and 580,635 rooms.

The U.S. accounts for 41 percent of hotels in the total global construction pipeline while China accounts for 20 percent, resulting in 61 percent of all global hotels being focused in just these two countries. Distantly following are Indonesia with 387 hotels and 65,405 rooms; Germany with 283 hotels and 52,569 rooms; and the United Kingdom with 266 hotels and 38,590 rooms.

Around the world, the cities with the largest pipeline counts are New York City with 171 hotels and 29,457 rooms; Dubai with 168 hotels and 49,943 rooms; and Dallas with 163 hotels and 19,476 rooms. Los Angeles follows with 147 hotels and 23,404 rooms while Guangzhou, China, has 132 hotels and 28,694 rooms in its pipeline.

Top Brands

Brands leading in the pipeline for the four megachains are: Accor’s Ibis Brands with 321 hotels and 48,368 rooms; Hampton by Hilton with 619 hotels and 79,591 rooms; IHG’s Holiday Inn Express with 731 hotels and 91,691 rooms; and Marriott’s Fairfield Inn with 397 hotels and 43,089 rooms.

In 2018, a total of 2,675 new hotels and 403,153 rooms opened around the world. As a result of the current global pipeline being at an all-time high, LE forecasts new hotel openings will continue to climb with 2,844 hotels expected to open in 2019. In 2020, new openings are forecast to accelerate further to 3,088 hotels. Over this three-year period, approximately 60 percent of new hotels opening will occur in the U.S. and China.