STR Forecasts Hotel Industry Boom in 2016

This year will see a record number of openings across the country By: Emma Weissmann
Agents will soon see more hotel choices throughout the U.S. // © 2016 iStock
Agents will soon see more hotel choices throughout the U.S. // © 2016 iStock

The Details


U.S.A. Today

According to an article in USA Today, recently released data from the hotel research firm STR reveals that 865 new hotels are set to open nationwide this year, bringing more than 100,000 new rooms to major cities in the U.S. Currently, the country is experiencing a 21 percent increase in rooms that were under construction over one year ago.

Why It Matters:
The future of travel looks bright, with these impressive figures serving as yet another reflection of the current strength of the industry. Not only will these new rooms offer increased opportunities for agent bookings at both familiar and up-and-coming brands, but they will also give business and leisure travelers more choice when securing a lodging option that will suit their needs. New York will have the most rooms under construction in 2016, with 13,583, followed by Houston (6,169), Dallas (4,361), Los Angeles (4,240) and Washington, D.C. (3,949). 

Fast Facts:
- Approximately 103,230 new hotel rooms are currently under construction in the U.S.

- New York is the state that leads with new rooms in 2016. It currently has 117,367 rooms, and will add 13,583 in the coming year.

- In addition to New York, several other cities are expected to see an increase in rooms. Among them are Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles/Long Beach, Calif., Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Miami/Hialeah, Fla., Chicago, Orlando, Fla. and Boston.

- These figures show a 1.5 percent growth in room openings this year, and a 21 percent increase in the number of rooms under construction over last year.

- Large hotel brands, such as Marriott International, Hyatt and Hilton Worldwide, will make up a large portion of the new hotels and hotel rooms this year. 

- The most common type of property under construction this year will be limited-service hotels.

What They Are Saying:
“Post-2009, lenders in the hotel space got very skittish,’’ said Jan Freitag, STR’s senior vice president of lodging insights, to USA Today. “But the industry continues to break records on the demand side and on the revenue side. Developers are playing catch up, and we’re seeing a lot of attention on the U.S. lodging industry.’’

“That's a record number of openings,’’ said Eric Jacobs, Marriott International’s chief development officer, North America, Select Service and Extended Stay Brands. “This [development] cycle has really pushed us into the urban markets based on the demand of these consumers.”

“Existing hotels have become expensive,’’ said Bill Fortier, Hilton Worldwide's senior vice president, development, for the Americas. “Money is going toward new development today and we’re going to see a record number of deals in 2016.’’

“Average room rates and occupancies are moving at record pace in [the West Coast, Denver, Houston and Dallas], and owners are seeing that, developers are seeing that, and saying it’s time to find a way to build something new,’’ said Bill Fortier. “We’re going to see a lot more activity on the West Coast than we have in the past.’’