LE: Europe’s Pipeline Hitting Highs Amidst Looming Economic Concerns

PORTSMOUTH, NH—Analysts at Lodging Econometrics (LE) report that Europe’s hotel construction pipeline continues its robust up-swing in 2019 with 1,670 projects/254,600 rooms, a remarkable 22% increase in projects and 19% increase in rooms year-over-year (YOY).

There has been an optimistic, upward trend in the European service and construction sectors, which is off-setting the weak outlook for exports and the ongoing shortfalls in manufacturing. New construction is being positively impacted by accommodative lending policies. Unemployment is at a 19-year low, yet an economic slowdown is still predicted for 2019.

There are 844 projects/133,620 rooms currently under construction and 480 projects/72,588 rooms planning to start construction in the next 12 months, both at record highs. The early planning stage stands at 346 projects/48,392 rooms, slightly off its record high at 2018 year-end.

New project announcements with 360 projects/50,337 rooms and construction starts with 223 projects/33,973 rooms have both reached all-time highs, both quarterly-over-quarter and on a rolling-four quarter basis. As a result of these positive pipeline trends, the LE forecast for new hotel openings will continue to soar with 390 new hotels/53,241 rooms anticipated to open in 2019 and a further 426 new hotels/61,490 rooms in 2020, a new record high.

Europe’s leading countries in the construction pipeline are Germany, which is at an all-time high, with 319 projects/57,152 rooms and the U.K., with 261 projects/37,910 rooms, marginally trailing the record set in 2018. Following are France and Portugal, both also at record highs, with 188 projects/22,537 rooms and 121 projects/12,190 rooms, respectively. Next is Poland with 91 projects/13,748 rooms.

The cities with the largest pipelines are London with 78 projects/13,285 rooms; Paris with 60 projects/9,255 rooms; Dusseldorf, Germany with 53 projects/10,347 rooms; Lisbon, Portugal with 39 projects/3,457 rooms; and Hamburg, Germany with 31 projects/6,101 rooms.

Franchise companies with the largest construction pipelines are AccorHotels—at a record high, with 256 projects/35,073 rooms. Next is Marriott International with 208 projects/33,395 rooms, just short of its high set in 2018. Hilton Worldwide follows with 172 projects/26,466 rooms, and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) with 147 projects/24,483 rooms, also just shy of its 2018 high. These four companies account for 47% of the projects and rooms in the total pipeline.

The leading brands for each of these franchise companies are AccorHotel’s Ibis brands with 134 projects/16,901 rooms; Mercure Hotel, at an all-time high, with 28 projects/2,918 rooms; and Novotel with 25 projects/4,246 rooms. Marriott International’s top brands are Moxy with 64 projects/11,422 rooms; Courtyard by Marriott with 33 projects/5,758 rooms; and Residence Inn, at an all-time high, with 17 projects/1,607 rooms. Hilton Worldwide has Hampton Inn with 70 projects/10,790 rooms; Hilton Garden Inn 43 projects/6,416 rooms; and DoubleTree by Hilton 23 projects/2,985 rooms. IHG’s top brands include Holiday Inn Express with 72 projects/10,900 rooms; Holiday Inn 33 projects/7,541 rooms; and Hotel Indigo 13 projects/1,554 rooms.