In the recently released China Construction Pipeline Trend Report from Lodging Econometrics (LE), analysts report that the country’s total hotel construction pipeline, at the close of the fourth quarter, stands at 3,581 projects/675,074 rooms.

At the close of 2022, hotel development in China continued to move forward despite the country’s economic slowdown. This deceleration, due in part to rigorous Covid restrictions, reduced demand for exports, and a real estate decline, is expected to rebound in 2023 as more cities implement relaxed Covid guidelines and consumer spending and real estate investing increase.

Projects presently under construction in China are at 2,618 projects/472,396 rooms, up 2 per cent and 1 per cent year-over-year (YOY), respectively. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months stand at 404 projects/79,048 rooms and projects in the early planning stage closed the quarter standing at 559 projects/123,630 rooms. The upscale chain scale reached peak project counts in the fourth quarter, accounting for 22 per cent of projects and 28 per cent of the rooms in China’s hotel construction pipeline.

Cities in China with the largest pipelines, at the Q4 close, are Chengdu with 132 projects/26,891 rooms, Shanghai with 117 projects/22,539 rooms, Guangzhou with 108 projects/23,492 rooms, Hangzhou with 102 projects/21,519 rooms, and Xi’an with 96 projects/17,297.

Franchise companies topping China’s construction pipeline at the Q4 close are led by Hilton Worldwide with 680 projects/123,403 rooms and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) with record project and room counts of 454 projects/94,009 rooms. Next is Marriott International with 370 projects/97,497 rooms, Accor with 222 projects accounting for a record-high 39,141 rooms, and then Jin Jiang Holdings with 177 projects/17,864 rooms.

Top brands in the pipeline at the close of the quarter are led by Hampton by Hilton with 358 projects/53,409 rooms. Hilton’s second largest brand, by project count, is its Hilton Garden Inn brand with 98 projects/19,065 rooms. IHG brands with the greatest number of project counts in the pipeline at Q4 are Holiday Inn Express with 181 projects/29,138 rooms and its Holiday Inn brand with 75 projects/18,261 rooms. The top brands for Jinjiang Holdings are 7 Days Inn with 90 projects/7,060 rooms and Vienna Hotel with 34 projects/3,522 rooms. Marriott brands with the largest project counts are the full-service Marriott Hotel with 63 projects/19,236 rooms and Four Points Hotel with 60 projects/16,191 rooms. Accor’s leading brands in China are its Ibis brands, with 68 projects/6,953 rooms, and its Mercure Hotel brand with 59 projects/9,114 rooms.

Throughout 2022, there were 469 new hotels opened in China. In 2023, LE analysts forecast 787 new hotel projects to open, accounting for 115,943 rooms, and in 2024 LE forecasts 893 new hotel projects/145,744 rooms to open throughout the country.