Hilton reaches record pipeline

Image of Hilton Worldwide headquarters in McLean, Virginia, USA, by Altercari, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Hilton Worldwide has set a record for its hotel pipeline, hitting 3,190 hotels, representing 457,300 keys, as of 30 September 2023.

The US-headquartered group approved 35,500 new rooms for development during Q3 this year, representing growth of 4% from 30 June 2023 and 10% from 30 September 2022.

Global growth

Of the rooms in the development, 223,000 were under construction and 257,200 were located outside of Hilton’s home US market.

Pipeline projects are spread throughout 119 countries and territories, including 29 countries and territories where the group did not have any existing hotels.

Brand firsts

In Q3 2023, Hilton opened 107 new hotels totalling 15,700 rooms and achieved net unit growth of 14,300 rooms. 

During the quarter, Hilton had two noteworthy brand debuts, with the first Spark by Hilton opening in Mystic, Connecticut, and the first Tempo by Hilton opening in New York Times Square. This momentum of firsts continued into October 2023 with the announcement of Waldorf Astoria Residences Pompano Beach, the brand’s first standalone residential project.

Exceeding expectations

Christopher J Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton, commented: “We continued to see strong results during the third quarter, exceeding our expectations for system-wide RevPAR growth, with growth across all customer segments. We also continue to leverage our industry-leading portfolio of brands to drive further growth of our global network. We believe we have hit an inflection point and expect a meaningful uptick in openings in the fourth quarter with continued positive momentum into next year.

“With a record number of approvals year-to-date driving the largest pipeline in our history, we are confident in our ability to accelerate net unit growth to 5.5% to 6%next year.”

High end pipeline

Within the THP database there are records of 736 upcoming upper segment Hilton hotel projects, encompassing 135,866 keys.

Breaking this down into individual brands, we see the line with the most entries is the group’s flagship Hilton Hotels & Resorts, with at least 113 global sites under development. Hilton Garden Inn is not far behind on a minimum of 107, while Hampton by Hilton rounds out the podium on at least 95.

Worldwide hotspots

THP’s Hilton information indicates that there is a close contest between North America and Asia in the development stakes, with the former due to welcome at least 284 properties (39% of the total) and the latter on 280/38%, at worst. Europe is a way behind on a minimum of 102 sites.

The group’s US backyard is responsible for at least 254 forthcoming additions, that’s 35% of this upper segment pipeline. China is in second place on a minimum of 173, while Middle Eastern powerhouse Saudi Arabia now numbers at least 29 future Hilton hotels on the books.

In terms of city count, Chinese metropolises Shanghai and Nanjing top our list, on a least 10 and nine developments respectively, while the US’s Music City Nashville and Saudi Arabian port destination Jeddah share third spot with at least eight group properties underway each.

Upscale and greenfield preference

THP records point towards a strong inclination towards upscale development, as 68% of this high end pipeline is in the four star segment, equivalent to 504 sites, with luxury properties comprising the other 32%/232 hotels.

Even more concentrated is the preference for newbuildings, comprising 82% of records, representing 607 projects. This compares to just 72 refurbishments, 48 conversions and nine extensions.

Near term timeframe

Next year is currently in the lead for deliveries, numbering 246 – that’s a third of this high end pipeline. 2025 is next in the order, with at least 151 completions planned. Another 52 openings are expected for the rest of this year and 74 more are slated for 2026. The remaining 213 are either due further in the future or are yet to be designated a delivery date.

Around 46% of these upper segment developments are under construction, that’s 337 sites, with another 67 in pre-opening. This is in comparison to 220 in planning, 93 in pre-planning and 19 in a vision phase.

Significant Signias

Premium full service Signia by Hilton looks to be the brand with the largest key count sites under development in the group.

Signia by Hilton Atlanta will deliver a massive 975 keys to the US state of Georgia in March next year, while Signia Hilton Indianapolis will bring a vast 814 rooms online in Indiana in Q1 2026.