Experience economy drives resort investment appeal globally

Resorts account for significant portion of hotel trades across the Americas

CHICAGO, Oct. 25, 2019 – Buoyed by the rise of experience-driven travel and an affinity toward locally-inspired hotel offerings, resort assets remain a top target among investors. According to JLL Hotels & Hospitality’s Global Resort Report: Three-Part Series (“Global Resorts”), international tourist arrivals are anticipated to reach 2.2. billion in 2019, with a continued growth trajectory throughout the next decade, which will benefit resorts globally.

“Over the past five years, resorts have been star performers,” says Lauro Ferroni, Global Head of JLL Hotels & Hospitality Research. “Given many consumers’ propensity for experiences over material goods, we anticipate continued investment activity in this sector globally.”

In the Americas, resort sales accounted for 20.0 percent of all hotel sales, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia-Pacific’s resort sales totaled 7.0 percent of all hotel sales. Across all regions, private equity funds emerged as resorts dominant buyer, accounting for 20.0 to 50.0 percent of annual resort transaction volume in each market.

Global Resorts analyzes total resort supply and total transaction volume across select markets in the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Properties evaluated feature typical resort amenities such as a spa, pool and other leisure facilities.


Three key resort markets in the Americas include South Florida (locations spanning from Palm Beach to Miami), Hawaii and Colorado. Although each market features unique drivers, shared dynamics include resort sales accounting for the majority of total hotel trades, as well as increasing traveler volume.

In South Florida, 73.0 percent of sales from 2014 through the first-half of 2019 were resort assets, and the market experienced a 6.0 percent increase in overnight visitation and a 6.2 percent increase in international visitation. During the same time period, Hawaii saw 90.0 percent of its hotel sales volume fall under the resorts segment and in 2018, the market hit a record-setting 10 million visitors. In Colorado, 62.0 percent of hotel sales were resorts and last year, the market also set a visitation record with 85.2 million overnight and day trip visitors, as well as a 4.9 percent increase in international visitation.

“With the travel and tourism industry performing as strong as ever, resorts are an attractive investment option,” says Americas Hotels & Hospitality CEO Gilda Perez-Alvarado. “Resorts offer a smart way for investors to place a relatively significant amount of capital and secure attractive yield.”

Market dynamics

Highlights across South Florida include the area’s emergence as a global destination, it’s significant infrastructure investments, and its growing reputation as an art scene. Resort supply remains limited, with 1.1 percent and 1.4 percent growth expected this year and next, and since 2014, 17 resorts have sold for more than $100 million.

Highlights in Hawaii’s resort market include airline investment and its continued domestic and international travel appeal. Additionally, the market solicits notable interest from foreign investors. Resort supply entering the market stands at less 0.5 percent prior to 2021 and since 2014, 22 resorts have sold for more than $100 million and across all resort trades, the average price per key was approximately $400,000.

Colorado’s highlights include its appeal as a summer and winter destination for activities, catering to the growing trend of experience-driven travel. The bulk of visitors are domestic, as is the buyer pool, with domestic REITs accounting for the lion’s share of acquisitions, followed by private equity and developers. Since 2014, more than 60.0 percent of resort assets have sold for more than $50 million.

Access the report here

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. Our vision is to reimagine the world of real estate, creating rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, we will build a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.3 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of nearly 92,000 as of June 30, 2019. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit jll.com