LE: At Q1 close, Latin America’s hotel construction pipeline down

According to Lodging Econometrics’ (LE) Construction Pipeline Trend Report for Q1 2021, the Latin America Hotel Construction Pipeline stands at 604 projects/104,275 rooms, down 14% by projects and 16% by rooms, year-over-year (YOY). These are the lowest project and room counts seen in the region since Q2 2012.

Countries in Latin America continue to feel the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with many countries enduring high outbreak rates and new variants. Government organizations and health associations throughout the region are working to decrease case numbers by increasing vaccine campaign efforts and dose deliveries, toward higher vaccination rates and the goal of herd immunity.

As of May 10, 10.88% of Mexican residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine and 7.23% of residents are fully vaccinated. Chile is the country with the highest COVID-19 vaccination rate reported in the Latin America region, with 44.69% partially vaccinated and 37.33% residents fully vaccinated.

Projects currently under construction ended Q1 ’21 at 323 projects/60,332 rooms. The number of projects in this stage remains unchanged YOY, however, it does show a 5% increase in rooms. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months saw an 11% decrease YOY, but a slight increase since Q4 ’20, totaling 181 projects/27,773 rooms. Projects in the early planning stage experienced a 43% decline YOY, standing at 100 projects, accounting for 16,170 rooms.

Throughout the past four quarters, 56 new hotels/10,806 rooms opened in Latin America. This is the fewest number of openings the region has seen in this real estate cycle, with 15 of the 56 openings occurring in the first quarter of 2021. This brings the count of open and operating hotels in Latin America to 11,202 hotels/1,183,365 rooms. LE is forecasting 95 projects/16,781 rooms to open by year-end 2021 and 124 projects/20,027 rooms to open in 2022.

The top five countries for hotel construction in Latin America are Mexico, with 215 projects/37,786 rooms. Brazil follows with 114 projects/17,449 rooms, a record low for this country in project and room numbers. Next is Peru with 38 projects/4,978 rooms, then the Dominican Republic with 24 projects/4,972 rooms and Cuba stands at 19 projects/6,703 rooms.

Cities in Latin America with the largest pipelines include Lima with 28 projects/4,052 rooms; Mexico City with 24 projects/3,584 rooms; Guadalajara, Mexico with 20 projects/2,803 rooms; Cancun, Mexico with 16 projects/8,969 rooms; and Sao Paulo, Brazil with 14 projects/2,443 rooms.

Hotel franchise companies with the largest construction pipelines in Latin America are Marriott International with 103 projects/16,245 rooms, Hilton at a record high 98 projects/14,090 rooms, Accor with 96 projects/12,666 rooms, and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) with 58 projects/6,792 rooms.

Leading brands in the pipeline are Accor’s Ibis Hotels with 66 projects/8,476 rooms. Hilton Garden Inn follows, with 26 projects/3,622 rooms; next is Hampton by Hilton with 24 projects/2,863 rooms.