Though investor interest in the hospital sector was muted for most of 2020 in response to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and global travel, the lodging industry is poised to rebound in 2021, according to JLL Hotels & Hospitality’s annual Hotel Investment Outlook. The industry’s resilience shaped new experiences and demand from consumers while introducing a wave of trends that have accelerated as hoteliers quickly shifted operations and strategy, JLL says.

Hotel liquidity in 2020 was down more than 60 percent from 2019 levels, with nearly half of all transactions closing within the first three months of the year. Although hotels owners found it challenging to navigate a zero-cash-flow environment, lenders were accommodating, granting forbearance agreements where possible, JLL reported.

Private equity groups and institutional investors took advantage of assets that were offered for sale and drove liquidity in 2020 by accounting for 54 percent of total volume. About 21 percent of global hotel investments were in resort markets, signaling the current investment appeal of less dense markets, JLL said. Resort investment interest is expected to be a catalyst in driving hotel investment volume up by 35 percent or more this year from 2020 levels.