In a recent report, analysts at Lodging Econometrics (LE) report that Asia Pacific’s total construction pipeline, excluding China, is in its 5th year of growth and is at an all-time high of 1,749 projects/369,045 rooms. These pipeline totals are up a remarkable 306% by rooms and 270% by projects from the cycle’s low of 473 projects/90,946 rooms recorded in the first quarter of 2007 when LE first began tracking development in Asia.
Countries in the region are facing strong economic headwinds. Economies are slowing and many currencies compared to the dollar are falling, adversely affecting real estate investment. The evidence suggests that the pipeline peak may soon be near.
At the end of the second quarter, projects currently under construction soared to a record high 968 projects/215,523 rooms, as developers rushed to get their projects in the ground. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months stand at 379 projects/74,556 rooms and projects in the early planning stage stand at 402 projects/78,966 rooms.
The Asia Pacific region had 173 new hotels/30,332 rooms open in the first half of the year, with another 187 new hotels expected to open in the second half, bringing the total forecast for new hotel openings to 360 by the end of 2018. The LE forecast anticipates new hotel openings to continue ascending with 385 new hotels expected to open in 2019 and 399 in 2020.
Top countries in Asia Pacific’s construction pipeline, excluding China, continue to be led by Indonesia with 394 projects/66,759 rooms. India follows with 214 projects/33,535 rooms, then Japan with 206 projects/41,146 rooms. Next are Thailand with 142 projects/34,381 rooms and Malaysia with 140 projects/37,332 rooms, both Thailand and Malaysia show construction pipeline counts at all-time highs.
Cities in the Asia Pacific region with the largest construction pipelines include Jakarta, Indonesia with 101 projects/19,325 rooms; Seoul, South Korea with 80 projects/15,490 rooms; Tokyo, Japan with 67 projects/15,322 rooms; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with 57 projects/14,974 rooms; and Bangkok, Thailand with 52 projects/11,975 rooms.
The top four franchise companies, accounting for 40% of guest rooms in the total construction pipeline, are AccorHotels with 223 projects/47,221 rooms and Marriott International with 210 projects/48,325 rooms. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) with 147 projects/33,616 rooms follows along with Hilton Worldwide’s 86 projects/18,997 rooms. Both IHG and Hilton show double-digit pipeline growth YOY and their counts are at record highs.
Top brands in Asia Pacific’s construction pipeline, excluding China, include AccorHotels’ Ibis brands with 74 projects/14,811 rooms and Novotel with 46 projects/10,765 rooms. Marriott International’s Courtyard has 30 projects/5,927 rooms and Sheraton has 27 projects/6,560 rooms. IHG’s Holiday Inn has 58 projects/14,288 rooms and Holiday Inn Express has 34 projects/6,968 rooms, while Hilton Worldwide’s DoubleTree has 31 projects/6,474 rooms and the full-service Hilton Hotel & Resort has 27 projects/6,719 rooms. IHG’s Holiday Inn and Hilton’s DoubleTree and full-service Hilton Hotel brands are also at record highs.