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According to the recent Construction Pipeline Trend Report for Europe from Lodging Econometrics (LE), the total pipeline has 1,008 projects/161,271 rooms, up 14 percent by projects and 13 percent by rooms year-over-year (YOY), just a few projects short of Q208 peak of 1,022 projects/172,249 rooms.

For hotels currently under construction, Europe’s Pipeline has 502 projects/87,037 rooms, up 35 percent by projects and 30 percent by rooms YOY. There are 257 projects/40,060 rooms scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months, up 17 percent by projects and 15 percent by rooms. Projects in early planning, 249 projects/34,174 rooms, are down 14 percent by projects and 18 percent by rooms.

A blank-check company created by TPG has agreed to combine with Playa Hotels & Resorts, which will create a public company with a market value of roughly $1.1 billion. To read more about this notably large deal, click here.

Prive-equity companies KSL Capital Partners and KKR will acquire Apple Leisure Group from Bain Capital for an undisclosed amount. Apple Leisure Group is the parent company of Apple Vacations, Travel Impressions, CheapCaribbean.com, AMResorts, Amstar, and Worldstar. The transaction is expected to go through in the first quarter of 2017. In November, KSL agreed to purchase Outrigger Hotels and Resorts. To read more, click here.

Lodging Econometrics (LE) reports that, excluding China, the top four cities in the Asia Pacific region with the largest hotel construction pipelines by rooms are: Seoul with 159 projects/31,233 rooms, Jakarta with 118 projects/20,885 rooms, Kuala Lumpur with 47 projects/11,484 rooms and Tokyo with 49 projects/10,941 rooms. Seoul is the only one of these markets to increase year-over-year with 22 projects added, up 16 percent.

Excluding China, the leading franchise companies in Asia’s hotel construction pipeline are: Marriott International, after the Starwood merger, with 236 projects/54,328 rooms, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) with 117 projects/26,664 rooms, Best Western with 62 projects/13,066 rooms and Hilton Worldwide with 59 projects/12,495 rooms.

The leading brand for each of the top three franchise companies in Asia’s pipeline, excluding China, are: Courtyard by Marriott with 30 projects/6,438 rooms, IHG’s Holiday Inn with 43 projects/10,819 rooms, Best Western with 26 projects/3158 rooms and Hilton Hotel with 21 projects/5,088 rooms.

Earlier this month, Airbnb dropped a lawsuit over a law that fines hosts for violating short-term rental laws. Its agreement to crack down on illegal rentals could hurt the company, as 12 percent of New York hosts have multiple listings. Read more here.

Expedia’s recent purchase of rental HomeAway has positioned it to access the same market as Airbnb. Expedia has already started to alter the way HomeAway makes money as a means to close its takeaway gap with Airbnb. HomeAway now charges a booking fee to property owners and a renting fee for the traveler, similar to Airbnb. This makes a difference in the company’s bottom line, and with Expedia’s plans to also cross-sell listings on its Expedia network, it could become a legitimate threat to Airbnb. To read more, click here.

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