PORTSMOUTH, NH—Analysts at Lodging Econometrics (LE) report that at the end of the third quarter of 2019, China’s total construction pipeline has grown to 3,380 projects/628,972 rooms. Currently, the country has 2,548 projects with 438,797 rooms under construction with projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months at 404 projects with 85,026 rooms. Projects in the early planning stage have 428 projects/105,149 rooms.
Hotel development continues to thrive despite the continued economic struggles in the region and the ongoing trade and tariff disputes with the United States. In the third quarter, China announced 661 new projects with 80,692 rooms into the pipeline.
Through the third quarter of 2019, China opened 658 new hotels/92,932 rooms with another 363 new hotels/45,799 rooms forecast to open by year-end. In 2020, 1,084 new hotels with 157,893 rooms are forecast to open. Should all of these hotels come online in 2020, then China will open the largest number of new hotel rooms since the cyclical peak in 2014. In 2021, following a year of all-time high new hotel openings, LE forecasts that the number of new hotel openings will decelerate to 773 hotels with 135,294 rooms.
Chengdu, at a record high 124 projects having 25,560 rooms, leads China’s pipeline. Guangzhou follows standing at 122 projects with 26,105 rooms, then Shanghai at 119 projects/22,581 rooms. Next is Wuhan and Suzhou with 111 projects/15,457 rooms and 88 projects/14,855 rooms, respectively. Also, with strong room counts, are Hangzhou with 73 projects/15,647 rooms and Xi’an with 80 projects/15,054 rooms.
Four of the seven cities listed above have pipeline increases in excess of 20% of their existing open and operating supply with Chengdu having a pipeline in excess of 30%.
Franchise companies topping China’s construction pipeline are led by Hilton with 454 projects/93,644 rooms. Next is InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) with 375 projects/82,358 rooms and Marriott International with 315 projects/86,151 rooms. All three of these companies are setting record pipeline highs by projects and rooms and account for 34% of China’s total pipeline. Other notable franchise company pipelines are Accor with 218 projects/35,556 rooms and JinJiang Holdings standing at 214 projects/22,548 rooms.
Brands in the pipeline are led by Hampton by Hilton with a record 273 projects/42,645 rooms. Hilton’s second largest brand, by project count, is DoubleTree with 59 projects/16,489 rooms. IHG’s primary brands in China are Holiday Inn Express, at a record count, with 179 projects/31,430 rooms and Holiday Inn with a record 61 projects having 15,435 rooms. Marriott International’s top brands are the full-service Marriott Hotels & Resorts, hitting record highs, with 73 projects/22,068 rooms and then Courtyard with 39 projects/10,250 rooms. Leading brands for JinJiang Holdings are 7 Days Inn with 113 projects/8,931 rooms, and Vienna Hotel with 26 projects/3,300 rooms. Accor’s leading brand, Ibis, is also hitting all-time highs with 102 projects/10,888 rooms, while Mercure Hotel also has a record number of projects with 58 and totaling 9,346 rooms.