Above: A suite bedroom at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong.
Ever wonder how many hotel rooms exist in the world? STR Global, which provides hotel data to the hotel industry, has looked into the matter. According to its census database, the number is 13,443,014 as of February 2012. That’s 2,315,000 more rooms than in the year 2000. The Asia/Pacific region has 21.4 percent of the global room inventory as of February 2012, compared to North America’s 41.4 percent. In all regions, rooms from branded hotels increased compared to those from independent hotels in the 12-year period to February 2012. The global hotel inventory compound annual growth (CAGR) increased by 1.6 percent over the 12-year period, led by the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East/Africa regions, which grew respectively by 2.7 percent and 2.5 percent CAGR through February 2012.
Here’s the catch: All these numbers are based on what’s in STR Global’s database, and that database is a work in progress, as the research firm readily admits. “Our database tends to lean more toward branded hotels, and we are working hard to round out the independent properties count,” notes Jeff Higley, the company’s vice president of digital media and communications. “We’ve seen estimates as high as 17.5 million rooms in the world; however, we cannot verify that number.”
STR Global uses properties (both hotels and resorts) with 10 or more rooms to qualify for its database. With new properties opening all the time, and others closing down, it is of course unlikely that any firm will ever have a completely accurate, up-to-the-minute count of all the world’s hotel-room inventory. But that isn’t stopping STR Global from trying.
Explains Higley: “We will continue our quest, and are more than happy to form relationships with organizations who can help attain the goal.”