Analysts at Lodging Econometrics (LE) report that at the close of the first quarter, Canada’s hotel construction pipeline stood at 259 projects/35,432 rooms, down 15% by projects and 12% by rooms, year-over-year (YOY). However, compared to pre-pandemic totals at the end of Q1 2019, Canada is down a mere 2% by projects and up 7% by rooms.
Canada’s lodging industry has been hard-hit by the drop in leisure travel, largely due to stay-at-home orders and restrictions barring inter-provincial travel. Currently, the country is experiencing a high level of positive cases and domestic and international travel remains limited.
However, as of May 5, more than 14 million vaccine doses have been administered to the country’s eligible population. More than one million Canadians are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, having received both required doses of the country’s approved vaccines, and more than 13 million residents have received at least one dose. As vaccines continue to roll out and more of the population becomes fully vaccinated, it can be expected that case numbers across the country will lessen, and as that happens travel restrictions are likely to ease as well.
Projects under construction stand at 78 projects/9,887 rooms. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months are at 74 projects/8,312 rooms, while those in the early planning stage hit a peak for the country in Q1 with 107 projects/17,233 rooms, up 4% by projects and 8% by rooms year-over-year (YOY). New project announcements surpassed the totals for each of the previous four quarters in 2020, to end Q1 ‘21 with 27 projects/4,628 rooms. Additionally, conversions reached a cyclical peak this quarter with 60 projects/6,768 rooms.
Ontario continues to lead Canada’s construction pipeline with 144 projects/19,399 rooms and accounts for 56% of the projects and 55% of the rooms in the total pipeline. British Columbia follows with 39 projects/5,738 rooms, then Quebec, at a record-high project and room count, with 28 projects/3,857 rooms, followed by Alberta with 23 projects/3,788 rooms.
The top five cities with the largest construction pipelines are Toronto with 59 projects and 8,145 rooms. Montreal follows distantly with 18 projects/2,750 rooms, then Niagara Falls with 13 projects/1,897 rooms, Vancouver with 12 projects/1,658 rooms and Ottawa with 9 projects/1,576 rooms. These five cities combined account for 43% of the projects and 45% of the rooms in Canada’s total pipeline.
The top franchise companies in Canada’s construction pipeline are Marriott International with 67 projects and 8,507 rooms, a record high project and room count for the company in this region, followed by Hilton with 63 projects/7,703 rooms and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) with 45 projects/4,362 rooms.
The top brands in Canada’s pipeline are IHG’s Holiday Inn Express with 26 projects/2,638 rooms, Hampton by Hilton with 25 projects/2,872 rooms and Fairfield Inn by Marriott with 16 projects/1,623 rooms.