Strong Mexican demand points the way for hotel pipeline

Pictured: rendering of St. Regis Costa Mujeres Resort.
Mexican tourism has nearly reached pre-pandemic levels, which backs up the need for the country’s already-strong hotel pipeline.

According to Visit Mexico, in 2022, the country welcomed 38.3 million international visitors, 85.1% of 2019’s total.

Flights flying

Last year’s flight traffic has already surpassed 2019 figures, with 21.3 million foreign arrivals, an 8.6% rise from 2019’s 19.6 million.

Furthermore, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)’s Barometer on World Tourism 2023, international tourism to Mexico has recently increased by 13%.

Rising rooms

This is all positive news for high end hotel developers, with at least 127 of these properties comprising 27,018 rooms already in the pipeline, according to THP data. This denotes a key count increase of 5% in just six months, as when we last took a snapshot of Mexican development in August 2022, the pipeline contained 25,742 rooms.

These projects collectively represent over US$6 billion of premium hotel investment heading to the North American nation.

Luxury newbuildings

Newbuildings are the vast majority of the pipeline, equating to 114 of the 127 developments. There are also six high end refurbishments, five conversions and two extensions in our records.

Luxury properties are taking the lion’s share of upcoming additions, with 78 projects, representing 61%, as against 49 upscale sites comprising the remaining 39%.

World Cup preparation

The pipeline pace looks to be continuing strongly over the coming years. While 42 deliveries are expected this year, a further 32 will follow in 2024, and another 23 in 2025.

Just six are currently scheduled for 2026, when Mexico will be a joint host of the football World Cup, indicating that hotel chains want to get their new properties up to speed for a period before the mammoth tournament begins. The remaining 24 properties are yet to be designated a delivery date.

Tulum surge

In the last six months we have witnessed Caribbean coastal resort Tulum overtake its near neighbour, Cancun, in terms of pipeline properties, with 13 slated for the former and 10 for the latter. Mexico City also remains joint top of the list, with another 13 sites scheduled.

Dream Hotels, now part of Hyatt Hotels Corporation since last year’s takeover deal, heads our high end brand listings, with five projects underway. The similarly-named Dreams Resorts & Spas, though this is by AMResorts, is close behind on four developments. Making the podium with three upcoming sites each are Accor’s Mondrian, IHG Hotels & Resorts’ Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, and Marriott International’s St Regis Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts and W Hotels.

Accor overall has already made Mexico home to 33 hotels from its brands such as Fairmont, Angsana and Ennismore’s SLS, nearly doubling its footprint in the Mexico market in the past five years.

Mexican Marriotts

Two of Marriott’s upcoming swathe of Mexican properties include The Riviera Maya Edition at Kanai and St. Regis Costa Mujeres Resort

Edition’s first property in Mexico will be situated within the luxurious Kanai development and is expected to open this summer. With 180 rooms and suites, the hotel will be home to six food and beverage outlets including a signature restaurant, pool bar and beach club, destination spa and a 206 sq m penthouse suite. In addition to multiple meeting spaces, the hotel will also house an extensive outdoor deck for large-scale events and parties.

St. Regis Costa Mujeres Resort is expected to welcome its first guests in early 2025. The resort will be located on a 3.5-hectare site along the scenic Costa Mujeres beach. Envisioned by Mexico City-based Sordo Madaleno Architects, the development is expected to feature 158 guestrooms and 80 branded residential units. Amenities will  include three food and beverage venues, several swimming pools, a beach club and approximately 470 sq m of meeting space.