Photo by Nick Wong

For hotel developers, success is measured by how many new hotels are being developed and built. Given the theme of this month’s issue, it’s an ideal time to survey the Canadian landscape for pipeline development.

According to analysts at Lodging Econometrics (LE), at the close of the second quarter of 2019, the total construction pipeline in Canada hit an all-time high with 273 projects (35,787 rooms). Construction-pipeline projects grew 14 per cent and rooms are up a lofty 20 per cent year-over-year.

That same report states there are 92 projects (1,118 rooms) under construction. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months stand at 95 projects (11,097 rooms), while projects in the early planning stage stand at 86 projects (13,572 rooms) — both stages hitting record-high counts.

In the first half of 2019, a total of 28 new hotels (3,213 rooms) opened in Canada, with an additional 23 new hotels (2,579 rooms) scheduled to open before the end of the year. Projections for 2020 call for 64 new hotels (6,758 rooms) to open. In 2021, the forecast calls for 67 new hotels to open in Canada (7,428 rooms), which would set an all-time high count.

So, where is activity the highest? Ontario dominates with a record-high 140 projects (17,778 rooms). B.C. follows with a record-high 43 projects (5,877 rooms) and Alberta is third on the list with 36 projects (5,667 rooms). All told, the three provinces account for 82 per cent of the rooms in Canada’s pipeline. Quebec and Manitoba follow far behind with 13 projects (1,882 rooms) and nine projects (1,142 rooms), respectively.

The country’s top-five cities include Toronto with 49 projects (7,000 rooms), for a record high and claiming 20 per cent of all the rooms in Canada’s total construction pipeline; Vancouver has 13 projects (1,536 rooms); Ottawa has 12 projects (1,868 rooms); Calgary has 12 projects (1,395 rooms); and Niagara Falls has 10 projects (2,445 rooms). These five cities account for 40 per cent of the rooms in the total pipeline.

And, in the battle to build, Hilton Worldwide leads with 55 projects (6,558 rooms), followed closely by Marriott International with 54 projects (6,956 rooms) and Inter-Continental Hotels Group (IHG) with 45 projects (4,328 rooms). These three franchise companies account for 56 per cent of the projects in the total pipeline.

The top brands in Canada’s pipeline are IHG’s Holiday Inn Express with 31 projects (3,134 rooms); Hampton by Hilton with 27 projects (3,148 rooms); and TownePlace Suites by Marriott with 14 projects (1,464 rooms). Other notable brands in the Canadian pipeline are Hyatt Place with 16 projects and 2,398 rooms, Best Western Plus with 12 projects and 1,027 rooms and Courtyard by Marriott with 11 projects and 1,634 rooms.


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