According to the Q3 ‘21 Latin America Construction Pipeline Trend Report from Lodging Econometrics (LE), analysts report the total construction pipeline stands at 577 projects/103,648 rooms. The region’s pipeline project counts are down 14% and room counts are down 11%, year-over-year (YOY).
Projects under construction at the end of the third quarter stand at 304 projects/60,048 rooms, down 12% by projects and 2% by rooms YOY. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months stand at 155 projects/24,959 rooms, down 17% and 28% respectively, and those in the early planning stage are down 16% by projects and 11% by rooms YOY, settling in at 118 projects/18,641 rooms.
Border closures, travel restrictions and fluctuating cases of COVID-19 and its variants throughout the region have forced the hospitality industry in Latin America to rely largely on domestic demand over the past 18 months. However, as vaccine rollouts increase and travel restrictions are loosened, international travel demand is likely to increase in the region. Many of the larger international hotel companies are poised to take advantage of this increased interest in travel to Latin American countries like Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and other areas in the Caribbean as they market their resort and all-inclusive options. Notably, 33% of the pipeline in Latin America is slated for resort locations.
The top countries in the Latin America construction pipeline at Q3 are led by Mexico with 204 projects/36,873 rooms, accounting for 35% of projects and 36% of room counts in the region’s total pipeline. Next is Brazil with 112 projects/19,075 rooms, then following distantly is Peru with 33 projects/4,140 rooms, the Dominican Republic with 22 projects/5,132 rooms and Colombia stands at 19 projects/2,997 rooms.
Cities in Latin America with the largest pipelines by rooms include Mexico City with 24 projects/3,444 rooms; Lima, Peru, with 23 projects/3,214 rooms; Guadalajara, Mexico, with 18 projects/2,416 rooms; Cancun, Mexico, with 17 projects/9,402 rooms; and Sao Paulo with 16 projects/3,071 rooms.
At the end of the third quarter, the top hotel franchise companies in the region’s construction pipeline by projects include Hilton, with peak project and room count totals of 105 projects/16,477 rooms. Marriott International follows with 100 projects/15,912 rooms. Next is Accor, at 86 projects with 11,019 rooms and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) with 57 projects/6,591 rooms. These four companies account for 60% of the projects in the total Latin America construction pipeline.
Leading brands in the pipeline are Accor’s Ibis brand with 58 projects/7,372 rooms, Hilton Garden Inn with 26 projects/3,536 rooms and Hampton by Hilton with 22 projects/2,669 rooms. Following these brands are IHG’s Holiday Inn Express with 14 projects/1,702 rooms and IHG’s Avid Hotel brand with 12 projects/1,282 rooms.
Through the first three quarters of 2021, 60 new hotels/10,337 rooms opened in Latin America. Of those, 23 hotels with 3,408 rooms opened in Q3, alone. The LE forecast for the remainder of the year shows another 34 new hotels with 7,068 rooms scheduled to open, totaling 94 new hotels with 17,405 rooms opened by year-end. In 2022, LE’s forecast for new openings is expected to rise to 114 new hotels with 20,366 rooms in 2022 and again in 2023, to 135 new hotels with 21,186 rooms.