LE: Latin America Hotel Construction Pipeline Room Count Up Slightly

PORTSMOUTH, NH—In the recent Latin America construction pipeline trend report from Lodging Econometrics (LE), the total construction pipeline stands at 723 projects/131,075 rooms.

Pipeline room counts are up slightly at 4%, year-over-year (YOY), and are still near all-time lows. However, the luxury stage at 86 projects/15,366 rooms and upper-upscale at 101 projects/21,072 rooms are at the highest levels ever recorded by LE.

Projects presently under construction stand at 334 projects/60,720 rooms. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months stand at 205 projects/35,199 rooms, up 5% and 15% respectively, and those in the early planning stage are at 184 projects/35,156 rooms as the pipeline turns over toward larger projects.

At the close of the third quarter of 2019, Latin America opened 75 new hotels with 14,468 rooms. The LE forecast for the remainder of the year shows another 50 new hotels with 7,579 rooms scheduled to open. In 2020, annual totals will be 60% below the peak recorded in the second quarter of 2017. LE’s forecast for new openings is expected to rise to 136 new hotels with 25,490 rooms in 2020 and rise again in 2021 to 143 new hotels with 20,931 rooms.

Mexico has the most projects in the Latin America pipeline and is at an all-time high with 217 projects. The country also accounts for 31% of all rooms with 40,835. Brazil follows with 147 projects/24,619 rooms. These two countries account for 50% of the projects and rooms in the pipeline. Following distantly are the Dominican Republic, at an all-time high, with 37 projects/11,397 rooms, then Cuba and Colombia with 27 projects/7,957 rooms and 44 projects/7,153 rooms, respectively.

Cities in Latin America with the largest pipelines by rooms include Cancun, Mexico, with 21 projects/10,054 rooms; Lima, Peru, with 32 projects/4,798 rooms; Mexico City with 25 projects/4,604 rooms; Sao Paulo with 18 projects/3,094 rooms; and Cartagena, Colombia, with 15 projects/2,945 rooms. These five cities make up 20% of the rooms in the pipeline.

Marriott leads with the highest count of projects in the Latin America pipeline with 122 projects/20,658 rooms. Accor follows with 106 projects/14,585 rooms. Next is Hilton at a record high 84 projects with 11,940 rooms, and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) with 57 projects/6,686 rooms. The brands for these four companies, collectively, represent 51% of the projects in the construction pipeline.

The top brands in the pipeline are Accor’s Ibis brands with 72 projects/9,520 rooms, Hampton by Hilton with 24 projects/2,739 rooms, Hilton Garden Inn with 21 projects/2,977 rooms, and IHG’s Holiday Inn Express with 18 projects/2,136 rooms. Following these brands are Marriott’s Fairfield Inn with 16 projects/2,371 rooms and Courtyard by Marriott with 11 projects/1,660 rooms.