PORTSMOUTH, NH—Analysts at Lodging Econometrics (LE) report that Europe’s hotel construction pipeline soared to record high counts in the second quarter of 2019 with 1,704 projects having 260,111 rooms, for a dramatic 23% increase in projects and 19% increase in rooms year-over-year (YOY).
There are currently 819 projects/128,284 rooms under construction. Projects planning to start construction in the next 12 months stand at 496 projects/76,633 rooms and those in the early planning stage are at 389 projects/55,194 rooms, both at all-time highs. All chain scales showed YOY increases and are at or near record-high project counts.
Low-interest rates and accommodative lending terms are the drivers behind the soaring pipeline. Rates are not likely to turn upward anytime soon as they are deemed important to bolster slowing economies and needed to off-set further trade and tariff uncertainties. Consequently, the pipeline is expected to continue to grow at a healthy pace for the foreseeable future.
New project announcements into the pipeline for the last four quarters stand at a record high 855 projects/119,472 rooms. They have been running high for the last nine quarters and should continue at a strong pace into 2020.
In the first half of 2019, Europe opened 213 new hotels with 28,167 rooms and is forecast to open another 192 new hotels with 24,689 rooms by year-end. As a result of the thriving pipeline, the LE forecast for new hotel openings will continue to climb in the years ahead with 432 new hotels/60,694 rooms scheduled to open in 2020 and 484 new hotels with 74,220 rooms expected to open in 2021. Should all the forecasted new hotels between 2019-2021 come to fruition, Europe’s census of open and operating hotel rooms, which currently stands at 2.9 million rooms, will grow by 7%.
Germany continues to lead Europe’s hotel construction pipeline with an all-time high 320 projects/57,689 rooms. The U.K. follows with 280 projects/40,970 rooms, then France and Portugal with 184 projects/22,140 rooms and 119 projects/11,733 rooms, respectively. Next is Poland with 85 projects/13,317 rooms.
The cities in Europe with the largest pipelines are London with 78 projects/13,632 rooms, Paris with 54 projects/7,946 rooms, and Dusseldorf, Germany, with 52 projects/10,178 rooms. Lisbon, Portugal, follows with 39 projects/3,293 rooms and then Hamburg, Germany, with 32 projects/6,581 rooms, both at record highs.
Franchise companies with the largest construction pipelines are Accor with a record-high 261 projects/35,183 rooms. Next is Marriott International with 211 projects/34,432 rooms. Hilton follows with 174 projects/26,887 rooms, and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) with 148 projects/24,152 rooms. These four global franchise companies account for 47% of the projects in Europe’s pipeline.
The leading brands for these four companies are dominated by Accor’s Ibis brands with 134 projects/16,785 rooms. Other top brands for Accor are Mercure Hotel and Novotel, both at all-time highs, with 30 projects/3,202 rooms and 28 projects/4,881 rooms, respectively. Marriott International’s top brands are Moxy with 66 projects/11,855 rooms, Courtyard by Marriott with 33 projects/5,796 rooms, and Residence Inn, at an all-time high, with 17 projects/1,610 rooms. Hilton has Hampton by Hilton with 69 projects/10,703 rooms, Hilton Garden Inn with 42 projects/6,376 rooms, and DoubleTree by Hilton with 26 projects having 3,455 rooms. IHG’s top brands include Holiday Inn Express with 69 projects/10,591 rooms, Holiday Inn with 36 projects/7,289 rooms, and Hotel Indigo with 14 projects/1,714 rooms.