Hilton opened nearly 470 hotels in 2019, taking its portfolio to 6,110 properties.

It represented 6.6 per cent net unit growth in the year the company marked its 100th anniversary.

Hilton said its pipeline now includes 387,000 rooms across 15 brands in 72 countries. Construction starts were at a record high in 2019 at 87,000 rooms.

It also opened a record number of luxury properties, with 11 launches across the Waldorf Astoria, LXR and Conrad brands.

Hilton’s growth did not match that of its larger rival Marriott, which opened 516 rooms in 2019, taking its portfolio to 7,300 properties. Marriott also saw a record year for signings, and now has 515,000 rooms in its pipeline.

However, last year a report by consultancy Brand Finance found that Hilton had overtaken Marriott as having the world’s most valuable brand portfolio, with the three fastest-growing hotel brands – Homewood Suites, Doubletree, and Hampton by Hilton – all in its portfolio.

Hilton’s combined hotel portfolio was valued at $14.7 billion.

“As we look toward the future, we will continue to prioritise sustainable and inclusive growth, enabling us to further strengthen the collective impact we have on the people and communities we serve,” said Christopher J Nassetta, Hilton’s CEO.

Hilton was founded in 1919, when Conrad Hilton bought the 40-room Mobley Hotel in Cisco, Texas, and averaged 300 per cent occupancy, because the guests were mainly oilfield workers who rented the rooms in eight-hour shifts.