Analysts at Lodging Econometrics (LE) report that Chinas total construction pipeline is booming and stands at 2,761 projects/580,635 rooms, up 12% by projects and 6% by rooms year-over-year (YOY). At the end of 2018, both projects and rooms in the construction pipeline are at new all-time highs surpassing the previous cyclical high of 2,658 projects set in the fourth quarter of 2014. China has the second largest pipeline in the world.
Projects presently under construction are at 2,044 projects/411,032 rooms, up 17% and 10% YOY, respectively, reflective of the rush to get under construction as the economy continues to soften. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months are at 351 projects/76,063 rooms, down 4% and 5% YOY. Projects in the early planning stage YOY are flat at 366 projects/93,540 rooms.
At the 2018 year-end, China opened 619 new hotels/109,524 rooms, 23% of all projects worldwide. The LE forecast for new hotel openings, in the years ahead, continues to climb as the record number of projects in the pipeline enter into current supply. Throughout 2019, LE anticipates 671 new hotels/125,396 rooms will open and 691 new hotels having 132,108 rooms will open in 2020.
Chinas pipeline is led by Guangzhou with 132 projects/28,694 rooms, a 25% increase in projects YOY. This is an all-time high for the city. Shanghai follows with 123 projects/25,283 rooms. Next is Chengdu also at a record high of 109 projects/23,478 rooms, Hangzhou with 90 projects/17,978 rooms, and Suzhou with 84 projects/15,436 rooms.
Franchise companies topping Chinas construction pipeline are led by Hilton Worldwide with 386 projects/86,880 rooms and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) with 314 projects/72,758 rooms. Next is Jin Jiang Holdings with 288 projects/33,043 rooms, Marriott International with 283 projects/77,340 rooms, and AccorHotels with 186 projects/33,683 rooms.
Hampton by Hilton is the largest hotel brand in the construction pipeline in China with 194 projects/30,345 rooms. Hiltons second largest brand is DoubleTree with 67 projects/19,453 rooms. IHGs major brands are Holiday Inn Express with 150 projects/28,257 rooms and Holiday Inn with 57 projects/15,401 rooms. Top brands for Jin Jiang Holdings are 7 Days Inn with 121 projects/9,541 rooms, and Vienna Hotel with 83 projects/11,614 rooms, while Marriott Internationals leading brands are the full-service Marriott Hotel & Resort with 64 projects/19,463 rooms and Courtyard with 35 projects/9,025 rooms. AccorHotels has 74 Ibis projects/7,849 rooms and Mercure 50 projects/8,874 rooms.