Hotel investment is once again beginning to take centre stage in international real estate investment, as global tourism continues to recover well. While the world's primary city markets such as London and New York have held strong during the last few volatile years, emerging markets are once again making the headlines as investors find confidence that the tourism recovery is not temporary and seek new opportunities to make money.
Arguably the hottest region in the new emerging market hotel breed is Latin America, with Peru and Uruguay leading the charge and Panama starting to make some waves. But we are also hearing a lot about Asia-Pacific emerging markets like Thailand, Indonesia and the Maldives, but China is still stealing a lot of the headlines out of Asia.
A clear sign of the potential of these new regions is the influx of high end hotel brands making a presence in them. In the last few weeks alone several leading international hotel brands have announced Peru and Uruguay.
At the tail end of last month it was announced that JW Marriott had opened the doors to a new hotel in Peru's historic Machu Picchu. The much anticipated hotel stands at an altitude of 11,154 feet above sea level, the company's highest-altitude hotel, and is situated at the gateway of the highly popular Andes mountain sanctuary.
Just two days later we hear that Starwood Hotels and Resorts Inc has opened the largest hotel in its global portfolio in Macau. The 4000 room Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central is not only the largest Starwood hotel, but is also the largest hotel to open this year.
Coming into this month JW Marriott has announced development of its first hotel in Panama, due to open in 2015. Then 3 days later it was announced that Uruguay would have its first Hyatt hotel in 2015.
Meanwhile a report from Jones Lang la Salle points to Thailand, Indonesia and the Maldives as the three markets to watch.
"We are seeing fantastic potential coming out of Thailand, Indonesia and the Maldives, backed by rising RevPAR (revenue per available room), healthy investor interest and solid travel demand,” says Tom Oakden, Executive Vice President of Investment Sales at Jones Lang La Salle Hotels.
In other news Peru has just announced a campaign to attract even more new investment and development in its emerging hotel sector, by offering tax incentives and other sweeteners to those investing in the hotel sector.