The future of resort and hospitality real estate

January 23, 2024

In the dynamic realm of real estate, one sector that consistently stands out is the resort and hospitality industry. This sector’s compelling interplay between service, architecture, and experience makes it a fascinating area to explore. We will delve into the future landscape of this market, using a data-driven approach to analyze trends and forecasts, giving you a comprehensive understanding of the growth in the sector. We will also dive into the business side of the industry, unraveling the intricacies of the hotel market in America and globally.

The Current State of the Hospitality Market

Let’s start by understanding the current state of the hospitality market. The hospitality sector, which comprises hotels, resorts, and related businesses, is a significant contributor to the global economy. It is a sector defined by its capacity to adapt and evolve. Over the past year, these adaptations have been particularly noteworthy in the face of unprecedented global challenges.

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Data from various reports indicates that the hospitality market is on a recovery trajectory. Following a period of contraction due to travel restrictions, the market is bouncing back and is expected to post strong growth figures in the coming years. However, the sector’s future growth will largely depend on its ability to innovate and meet shifting consumer preferences.

The Growth Forecast for the Hotel Industry

Looking at the growth forecast for the hotel industry, it’s clear that a significant recovery and expansion are expected. The industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of around 5.8% from 2021 to 2026, according to a recent report. This growth will be driven by several key factors, including increased travel demand, a rise in middle-class income, and a surge in international tourism.

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But beyond the numbers, what’s equally important is the shifting landscape within the hotel industry itself. Luxury and boutique hotels are on the rise, with consumers increasingly seeking unique, personalized experiences. At the same time, eco-friendly and sustainable hotels are gaining popularity as consumers become more conscious about their environmental footprint.

The Business of Resorts and Hospitality Real Estate in America

As we turn our attention to the business side of resorts and hospitality real estate in America, it’s important to note that this is a multi-faceted sector. The business model involves not just the operation of hotels and resorts, but also the ownership and development of real estate.

In recent years, there has been a trend towards more diversified business models in the hospitality sector. Many hotel chains are shifting from an owner-operator model to a ‘lighter’ model where they manage properties but do not necessarily own them. This has opened up new opportunities for real estate investors to enter the market and collaborate with hotel operators.

Moreover, vacation rentals have been a growing segment within the hospitality industry, offering an alternative to traditional hotel rooms. This segment’s growth has been fueled by online platforms that make it easy for property owners to rent out their homes or apartments to tourists.

The Global Size and Scope of the Hospitality Sector

Finally, let’s explore the global size and scope of the hospitality sector. The sector is vast and varied, encompassing everything from small bed and breakfasts to large international hotel chains and luxury resorts.

According to data from Statista, the global hotel market was worth around $600 billion in 2018, and despite the recent downturn, it is expected to continue growing in the long term. Emerging markets, in particular, are expected to be major drivers of this growth. Countries such as China and India, with their growing middle class and increasing tourism, are creating significant opportunities for the hospitality industry.

The resort segment, meanwhile, is also expected to witness significant growth. This is largely due to the rising demand for experiential travel, where travelers seek out unique and authentic experiences that go beyond sightseeing.

In conclusion, the future of the resort and hospitality real estate sector is set to be shaped by several key trends, including a shift towards more diversified business models, increased demand for unique travel experiences, and a growing focus on sustainability. As these trends continue to evolve, they will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the sector’s future growth and development.

The Impact of Technology on the Hospitality Real Estate Sector

Technology is rapidly changing the face of the hospitality industry. The need for digital transformation has been accelerated by the global pandemic, which has left an indelible mark on the way businesses operate in this sector. This has resulted in significant shifts in the real estate market tied to the hospitality industry.

Digital platforms and mobile applications have revolutionized the way hotels and resorts interact with their customers. In the age of instant gratification, consumers want the ability to access services and make bookings at their convenience. As a result, businesses in the hospitality industry are investing heavily in digital infrastructure to enhance their service offerings and improve customer experiences.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies are being leveraged to streamline operations, manage customer relationships, and personalize experiences. For instance, AI-powered chatbots are being used to handle routine inquiries, freeing up staff resources for more complex tasks. Similarly, ML algorithms are being used to analyze customer data and generate actionable insights that drive business strategy and decision-making.

From a real estate perspective, technology is influencing the way properties are designed, constructed, and managed. For instance, Building Information Modeling (BIM) and 3D visualization tools are being used in the design and construction phase to enhance efficiency and accuracy. In the operational phase, smart technologies are being implemented to manage energy use, security, and maintenance needs in a more effective and sustainable manner.

Technology, therefore, promises to be a significant driver of change in the hospitality and resort real estate market, pushing businesses to innovate and adapt in order to stay competitive.

The Sustainability Revolution in the Hospitality Real Estate Market

Sustainability is another key trend shaping the future of the hospitality and resort real estate market. As consumer consciousness about environmental issues grows, businesses in the hospitality industry are under increasing pressure to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices.

The focus on sustainability is influencing every aspect of the hospitality business, from the design and construction of buildings to their day-to-day operations. In the design phase, there’s a growing emphasis on building ‘green’ hotels and resorts that minimize environmental impact. This involves using sustainable materials, incorporating energy-efficient systems, and integrating natural elements into the design to improve indoor air quality and overall guest comfort.

In terms of operations, businesses are adopting various strategies to reduce their environmental footprint. These include implementing waste management and recycling programs, sourcing locally grown produce, and offering eco-friendly amenities to guests.

In the real estate sector, sustainability is not just a trend; it’s a necessary shift that’s likely to impact the industry’s long-term growth and profitability. Businesses that can successfully incorporate sustainability into their operations will be better positioned to attract environmentally-conscious consumers and reap the benefits of this growing market trend.


The future of the resort and hospitality real estate sector is undoubtedly exciting. Technology and sustainability are set to play pivotal roles in shaping the industry, influencing everything from business operations to real estate development. While challenges are inevitable, these trends also present significant opportunities for businesses willing to innovate and adapt.

Moreover, with the expected growth in the market, largely driven by emerging markets like China and India, the hospitality real estate segment offers promising potential for investors and operators alike. As consumer preferences continue to evolve, the industry needs to stay flexible and responsive, ensuring it can cater to the ever-changing needs of its clientele.

The road ahead promises to be transformative, and it will be interesting to see how the resort and hospitality real estate sector evolves in the face of these new challenges and opportunities.