Europe pipeline up 19%

(Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany)

Europe’s total construction pipeline rose to 1,871 projects in the fourth quarter of 2019, a 19% increase by projects and 22% by rooms on the year, according to Lodging Econometrics.

The UK led the pipeline, with 346 projects, followed by Germany with 339 projects. Marriott International was the leading operator.

Marriott International had 244 projects and Accor 241. Next was Hilton Worldwide with 191 projects and InterContinental Hotels Group with 156 projects. These four companies were responsible for 45% of the projects in the total pipeline.

The leading brands for each of these companies were Marriott International’s Moxy, with 78 projects, Courtyard by Marriott with 31 projects and the Autograph Collection, also at record counts, standing at 24 projects. AccorHotel’s top brands were the Ibis brands with 114 projects, Novotel with 28 projects and Mercure Hotel with 24 projects.

In total there were 879 projects currently under construction, with 531 projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months, and 461 in early planning. All stages of the pipeline were at record highs.

The company said: “However, Europe closed 2019 with a fragile and waning economy with growth in the Eurozone expanding by a mere 0.1% in the fourth quarter. This is partly due to last year’s lengthy negotiations that resulted in the U.K. leaving the European Union at the end of January 2020, and the uncertainty of the US/China trade war which had a significant impact.

“Looking forward, the first quarter of 2020 could be rather sluggish too, due in part to the heavily export-dependent German economy, which is being negatively affected by the slowing of the Chinese economy as a result of the coronavirus, France’s weakening economic performance and widespread social turmoil caused by unpopular economic reforms, and the UK’s need to reestablish an economic relationship with the European Union by year’s end.

“Nevertheless, Europe remains the most popular destination in the world for tourism, the major franchise companies continue to focus development efforts in many areas of the region, and hotel operating performance remains positive, all of which continues to be a significant driver of hotel development in the region.”

In 2019, 435 new hotels with 58,202 rooms opened throughout Europe, the highest number of new hotel openings ever recorded. As a result of the robust construction pipeline, the LE forecast for new hotel openings was 457 new hotels anticipated to open in 2020 and rising to 503 new hotels in 2021.