William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

Hotel Investing: 10 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Hotels

When it comes to money matters, investments is probably one of the most discussed topics today. Is it because of the high rate of inflation and so many people are looking for an additional source of income, or is it because investors are looking to diversify their investment portfolios?

If you’re looking to get started on your investment journey, hotel investment is an avenue that you should definitely look into. One way in which many investors are securing more profits is by investing in the hotel industry, as it is a very lucrative one.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the hotel industry was significantly impacted as a result of widespread travel restrictions and lockdowns. As a result, the demand for hotel services dropped sharply, resulting in many hotel closures and a significant loss of revenue for the industry.

According to data from STR, a hospitality industry research firm, hotel occupancy rates in the United States dropped from 62.6% in 2019 to 59.4% in 2022. Before the pandemic hit, the average occupancy rate was around 66%.

However, as vaccination rates have increased and travel restrictions eased in many regions, there has been a gradual improvement in hotel occupancy rates and revenue.

William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

Key Points
  • The hotel industry is a sector of the hospitality industry that includes businesses that provide accommodation and related services to travelers and guests
  • The COVID-19 pandemic caused hotel occupancy rates to drop drastically between 2019 to 2022
  • Some benefits of being a hotel investor include the potential of high returns due to consistent demand and flexibility in ownership
  • Some disadvantages include high competition and dependence on travel
  • Among the metrics that hotel investors use to measure the success of a hotel include occupancy rates and average daily rate (ADR)
  • To start investing in hotels, you can purchase stocks of publicly-traded hotel companies, buy shares of publicly traded REIT stocks or through private hotel funds

The contents of this article are for educational purposes only. They are not intended to be a source of professional financial advice. You will find experts on financial planning, financial management, and real estate here. More on disclaimers here.

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What is the Hotel Industry?

hotel reception

The hotel industry is a sector of the hospitality industry that includes businesses that provide accommodation and related services to travelers and guests. Hotels come in various shapes and sizes, ranging from small bed and breakfast establishments to large luxury resorts.

Hotels typically offer rooms or suites for guests to stay in, along with various amenities such as restaurants, bars, conference rooms, fitness centers and swimming pools. Other services that hotels may provide include room service, housekeeping and concierge services.

The hotel industry caters to a wide range of travelers, including business travelers, tourists, families and other individuals seeking short-term accommodation. The industry is highly competitive, with hotels competing for guests based on factors such as location, price, amenities and quality of service.

The hotel industry plays an important role in the global economy, generating significant revenue and providing employment opportunities for millions of people around the world. It is also a key component of the tourism industry, which is a major driver of economic growth in many countries.

The hotel industry plays an important role in the global economy, generating significant revenue and providing employment opportunities for millions of people around the world. It is also a key component of the tourism industry, which is a major driver of economic growth in many countries.

So as an investor, why should you invest in hotels as opposed to just acquiring real estate investments and how will you get your returns? Keep reading for a better understanding on how hotel investment works.

Reasons Why You Should Invest in Hotels

hotel investing funds

Hotels differ from other types of investments because they generate income by booking guests who either dine or pay to spend a night or two at the establishment. With other types of properties like residential and commercial real estate, this might not be the case as leases generally last for several months or even years.

In as much as hotels differ slightly from other types of real estate investments, hotel investors can receive great dividends if a hotel is usually fully booked, during times when popular events are taking place nearby and also over the holidays which is usually peak season for most hotels.

Pros of Being a Hotel Investor

Hotel investments have their pros and cons just like any other type of investment. Here are some advantages of being a hotel investor.

1. Potential of high returns due to consistent demand

A well managed hotel is bound to attract customers consistency due to the quality of service provided. Hotels generate revenue on a daily basis, and if the occupancy rate is high, the income stream can be stable. This is great for hotel investors as it means that they get to enjoy higher financial returns.

Another factor to consider is that travel and tourism are an integral part of the global economy, and hotels are a crucial component of the travel industry. People travel for various reasons such as business, leisure, education or medical purposes, and they need a place to stay during their trip. Therefore, hotels typically experience relatively stable and predictable demands for their rooms.

During peak times of high demands such as travel seasons or holidays, hotels can make more money by increasing their rates and still get customers to make bookings. This demand can boost a hotel's revenue and profitability, which is great news for hotel investors.

2. You can also get to enjoy the hotel facilities

A benefit that investors can enjoy that is not commonly highlighted in the hotel investment industry is the unique opportunity to enjoy the facilities yourself. If you invest in a hotel property that includes amenities such as a spa, luxury suite or different lounges, you will have access to these facilities during your stay. This can be especially appealing for individuals who enjoy traveling and want to have a more luxurious or comfortable experience.

Additionally, investing in hotels can provide an opportunity for individuals to own a vacation property without the responsibility of managing it. Owning a hotel room or suite can offer a convenient and hassle-free way to enjoy a vacation property without worrying about maintenance, repairs or renting it out when not in use. Some hotels also offer rental programs, which can allow owners to generate income from their investment while still having access to the property for personal use.

3. Diversification of your investment portfolio

Diversification of your investment portfolio is an essential thing as it helps to spread your investments across different sectors. This potentially reduces the risk of losing money due to market fluctuations.

Additionally, hotels can offer a diverse range of investment options, from small boutique hotels to large international chains. This variety can allow investors to select a hotel property that fits their investment goals and risk tolerance.

4. Tax benefits

Investing in hotels can offer several tax benefits like that can help investors reduce their tax liabilities and increase their returns. Some of the tax benefits associated with investing in hotels include:

Depreciation: Hotels are considered commercial properties and are subject to depreciation, which allows investors to deduct a portion of the property's value each year. This deduction can help offset the income generated by the hotel property, reducing the investor's taxable income.

Interest deductions: Investors can deduct the interest paid on any loans used to purchase or improve the hotel property. This deduction can significantly reduce the investor's tax liability.

Tax-deferred exchanges: Investors can defer paying taxes on the sale of a hotel property by using the proceeds to purchase another like-kind property. This strategy can help investors avoid capital gains taxes and increase their overall return on investment.

5. Cost segregation

One of the potential tax benefits of investing in hotels is cost segregation. Cost segregation is a process that allows investors to separate and allocate the costs of certain building components into shorter depreciable lives than the building itself.

In the case of hotels, cost segregation can be particularly beneficial because hotels typically have a lot of specialized equipment and furnishings, such as furniture, fixtures and equipment, which have shorter depreciable lives than the building itself. By separating these components and depreciating them over shorter lives, investors can reduce their tax liability and increase their cash flow.

Cost segregation can also be used to identify and categorize building components that may be eligible for additional tax credits, such as energy-efficient upgrades, which can provide additional tax savings for hotel investors.

6. Growth potential

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving with new technologies, trends and services, which can create growth opportunities for investors.

One reason why you might consider investing in hotels is the growth potential of the industry. The travel and tourism industry has been growing steadily in recent years, and hotels are a key component of this industry. As more people travel for leisure, business and other purposes, the demand for hotel accommodations is likely to increase.

Additionally, hotels have the potential to generate significant income through a variety of revenue streams, including room rentals, food and beverage sales and event space rentals. If a hotel is well-managed and located in a desirable area, it can generate consistent cash flow and offer potential for long-term appreciation.

7. Flexibility in ownership

There are different ways to invest in hotels, such as owning the property or buying stocks of hotel companies

Another reason why you might consider investing in hotels is the flexibility of ownership. Hotels can be owned and operated in a variety of ways, offering investors a range of options to suit their preferences and investment goals.

For example, you can invest in a hotel property directly and manage it yourself, or you can partner with an experienced hotel management company to handle the day-to-day operations. This allows you to choose your level of involvement and control over the property.

In addition, hotels can be owned as single properties or as part of a larger portfolio, giving investors the flexibility to tailor their investment to their financial situation and risk tolerance. For example, you could invest in a single boutique hotel in a desirable location, or you could invest in a portfolio of branded hotels across multiple locations.

Another option for hotel ownership is through a real estate investment trust (REIT). REITs are investment vehicles that allow investors to own shares in a pool of real estate properties, including hotels. This can offer investors a convenient and liquid way to invest in hotels without the direct responsibilities of ownership and management.

8. Access to a global market

Another reason why you might consider investing in hotels is the access to a global market. The travel and tourism industry is a global one, and hotels are a key component of this industry. This means that investing in hotels can offer exposure to a diverse range of markets and geographies, potentially increasing your investment opportunities and reducing your overall risk.

Hotels can be located in a wide range of locations, from major urban centers to remote resort destinations. This can provide investors with exposure to different economic conditions, market trends and consumer preferences across various regions and countries.

Investing in hotels can also provide access to international travelers, who may prefer the comfort and convenience of a hotel over other accommodations. This can help to diversify the customer base and revenue streams of a hotel property.

9. Appreciation potential

Another reason why you might consider investing in hotels is the potential for appreciation. Appreciation refers to an increase in the value of an asset over time, and it can be a significant driver of investment returns.

Hotels can offer appreciation potential in several ways. Firstly, well-located and well-managed hotels can attract a steady stream of guests, which can result in a consistent cash flow and increase the value of the property. Secondly, hotels can benefit from improvements and upgrades over time, which can help to increase their value and appeal to guests.

Another factor that can contribute to the appreciation potential of hotels is the overall growth of the travel and tourism industry. As more people travel for leisure, business, and other purposes, the demand for hotel accommodations is likely to increase, potentially driving up the value of well-positioned hotel properties.

In addition, investing in hotels can offer the potential for long-term appreciation through strategic acquisition and development. For example, investing in underperforming hotel properties in up-and-coming locations and implementing improvements and upgrades can increase their value and appeal to guests over time.

10. Social impact

Investing in hotels can provide social benefits by supporting local economies, creating jobs and contributing to the tourism industry.

Hotels can play a significant role in supporting local economies and communities by providing employment opportunities and generating revenue for local businesses.

In addition, hotels can contribute to the preservation of cultural heritage and the promotion of sustainable tourism practices. By investing in properties that are located in culturally rich or environmentally sensitive areas, investors can help to promote responsible tourism practices and protect natural and cultural resources.

Investing in hotels can also contribute to the development of local infrastructure and amenities, such as roads, transportation systems and public spaces. This can help to improve the quality of life for local residents and attract additional investment and tourism to the area.

Cons of Being a Hotel Investor


Hotels tend to have seasonal business patterns, with high demand during peak travel times and slower business during off-seasons, which can create revenue volatility.

Economic cycles

The hotel industry is highly susceptible to changes in the economy, with downturns leading to decreased travel and demand for hotel rooms.

High hotel operations costs

Hotels have high operating costs, including staffing, utilities and maintenance, which can eat into profits. This is not good news for investors as this has an impact on the income that they receive from their investment.

Dependence on travel

Hotels are highly dependent on travel, which can be unpredictable and subject to changes in consumer behavior, such as increased use of home-sharing services.

High competition

Hotels are highly dependent on travel, which can be unpredictable and subject to changes in consumer behavior and current economic conditions.

How Do Hotel Investors Measure the Success of a Hotel?

hotel investing parameters

Hotel investors use various performance metrics to measure the success of a hotel investment. Here are the commonly used ones:

Occupancy rate

This metric measures the percentage of available rooms that are occupied during a given period. A high occupancy rate indicates strong demand for the hotel's rooms and can be a good indicator of the hotel's profitability.

Average daily rate (ADR)

Average daily rate is a metric that is used to measure the average price of each room sold during a given period. A higher ADR generally indicates that the hotel is able to command higher room rates and can generate more revenue per available room.

Revenue per available room (RevPAR)

Revenue per available room is calculated by multiplying the hotel's occupancy rate by its ADR. RevPAR is a useful metric for comparing the performance of hotels across different markets and can help investors understand how effectively the hotel is generating revenue from its available rooms.

Gross operating profit (GOP)

This metric is used to measure the hotel's total revenue minus its operating expenses. GOP is a key factor for understanding the hotel's profitability and can help investors evaluate the hotel's ability to generate profits after all expenses are accounted for.

Return on investment (ROI)

ROI is used to measure the percentage return on the hotel investment over a given period. ROI is a key metric for evaluating the overall success of the hotel investment and can help investors determine whether the investment is meeting their financial goals.

Why You Should Invest in Hotels Now

growing investments

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the hotel industry was hit hard. However many travel bans have been lifted and the demand for hotel stays has gradually increased. The occupancy rates have increased post-pandemic, meaning increased revenue for hotel investors.

Technology is also changing the way hotels operate, with advancements such as online booking systems, mobile check-in and smart room technology. As a result, the hotel industry is expected to continue to grow over the long term.

How to Start Investing in Hotels

saving for investments

Depending on what your investing strategy and goals are, you can choose to get started in hotel investing in different ways.

First, you can choose to purchase stocks of publicly-traded hotel companies through a brokerage account.

Another way to invest in the hotel industry is through REITs - real estate investment trusts. REITs are companies that own and manage income-generating real estate properties. Some REITs focus specifically on hotels and you can invest in these REITs through a brokerage account.

Another way is by investing in private hotel funds. These are investment vehicles that pool money from multiple investors to purchase and manage hotel properties. Typically, these funds are only available to accredited investors and may require a minimum investment amount. Depending on the fund, you may need to open a brokerage account to participate.

To work with a qualified real estate professional and advisor on our team, get in touch with Ila here

Bay Street Capital Holdings

Bay Street Capital Holdings

Bay Street Capital Holdings is a Black-owned, independent financial planning firm headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. The firm operates with the aim of managing total risk and volatility while maximizing returns.

Bay Street Capital Holdings was founded in 2018 by William Huston after 13 years of supporting the United States' largest retirement plan ($650B) Thrift Savings Plan. In 2022, he was recognized as Investopedia’s Top 100 Financial Advisors for 2022. In California, Bay Street Capital Holdings is the only Black-owned firm out of the twenty firms that received this recognition.









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