At the end of the quarter, projects currently under construction stand at 858 projects/195,518 rooms, down 9% by projects and 8% by rooms. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months stand at 396 projects, up 1% YOY, and account for 78,030 rooms. Projects in early planning reached peak room counts and closed the quarter at 504 projects/108,886 rooms, up 5% by projects and 15% by rooms YOY.

The upper-upscale and midscale chain scales each hit project and room count peaks at the end of Q3 and account for 26% of the region’s construction pipeline. Casino room counts in the region also reached record totals this quarter.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has left a lasting mark on regions across the globe, and the hotel and lodging industry continues to face challenges, the region is taking steps toward recovery. Excluding China, strict virus containment measures have allowed for hotel construction to continue throughout the Asia-Pacific region over the past 18 months. As evidenced by the increase in projects and rooms in early planning in the third quarter, developers are seeing this as a good time to announce new projects.

As popular resort destination countries reopen borders to international flights and travel resumes, booking volume should steadily increase going forward. The region’s hotel and lodging industry is expected to build upon the progress made throughout the last few months and continue this momentum into the last months of 2021 and into the new year.

Countries with the largest pipelines in Asia-Pacific, excluding China, are led by Indonesia, with 308 projects/49,063 rooms, then India with 273 projects/36,065 rooms and Vietnam with 189 projects/74,695 rooms. These three countries account for 44% of the region’s total pipeline. Not far behind is Thailand with record-high totals of 150 projects/36,035 rooms and Australia with 150 projects/28,718 rooms.

Asia-Pacific cities, outside of China, with the largest construction pipelines, are led by Jakarta, Indonesia, with 70 projects/11,921 rooms. Next is Seoul with 65 projects/12,684 rooms and Bangkok, Thailand, with 54 projects/13,056 rooms. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, follows with 47 projects/13,910 rooms and then Phuket, Thailand, with 36 projects/8,817 rooms.

The top hotel companies in the Asia-Pacific construction pipeline, excluding China, are Marriott International with 259 projects/55,871 rooms, Accor with 217 projects/49,294 rooms and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) with 139 projects/28,523 rooms. These three companies account for 35% of the region’s total hotel construction pipeline. Also of note are Hilton with 91 projects/21,205 rooms and Hyatt Hotels with 70 projects/13,890 rooms.

The top five brands in Asia-Pacific’s construction pipeline, excluding China, include IHG’s Holiday Inn with 47 projects/9,827 rooms; Novotel by Accor with 46 projects/10,170 rooms; Marriott International’s Courtyard, which has reached a peak, with 40 projects/8,493 rooms; Accor’s Ibis brands with 38 projects/7,468 rooms; and Marriott’s Fairfield Inn brand with 37 projects/5,949 rooms.

Excluding China, the Asia-Pacific region had 153 new hotels/28,121 rooms open at the close of the third quarter, with another 95 new hotels/17,393 rooms expected to open in the fourth quarter, bringing the total 2021 forecast for new hotel openings to 248, accounting for 45,514 rooms. The LE forecast for new hotel openings expects 310 projects/64,740 rooms to open in 2022.