April 22, 2021 tourism

MEA hotel construction pipeline slows down in Q1


Hotel development across the Middle East and Africa has slowed for more than a year, with hotel construction in the region declining almost 2 per cent during the first quarter of 2021, according to hospitality data analyst STR.

Rooms in the final planning stage in MEA fell 5 per cent and rooms in the earlier stage of planning was down almost 30 per cent, according to March pipeline data from STR

The UAE and Saudi Arabia continued to lead the region in construction, with Saudi Arabia projected to see the fastest growth in hotel supply in the world over the next three years.

Europe is the only world region showing increased hotel construction activity in comparison with the end of Q1 last year.

The number of hotel rooms in construction increased almost 27 per cent year-on-year in Europe in March.

Germany and the UK led the way with almost 51,785 rooms under construction in Germany and just under 37,000 in the UK.

Europe also recorded the greatest rise in hotel rooms in the ‘final planning’ stage in March, up 23.7 per cent year-on-year at 181,101, according to STR data. However, there was a 8.8 per cent fall in hotel planning at an early stage.

The Asia-Pacific region recorded a 3.4 per cent dip year-on-year in construction in March and a 17.5 per cent increase in hotel rooms in the final planning stage.

The number of rooms under construction in Asia-Pacific stood at 462,795 rooms, of which 283,893 were in China.

The US led the world in new hotel openings in the first quarter of 2021 despite a year-on-year decline in construction activity.

However, STR reported room construction in the Americas as a whole fell almost 11.6 per cent year on year in March, and the number of rooms in the final planning stage declined 13 per cent.

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