Luis Arsuaga, the Executive Vice President of the Hotels & Hospitality Group for Spain and Portugal at JLL, has a complex job. It’s one side of the hospitality industry few people think about, but in today’s world, most hotel brands don’t own the properties from which they operate. This “asset light” strategy was born out of the brands realising their core competency lies in operations, not ownership and maintenance of buildings, as Luis explains. So who owns the hotel? Funds are the main buyers of hotels, says Luis, representing the majority of investment volume in recent years, but other financiers like hotel chains, corporations, developers, private investors, and high net-worth individuals can also be involved on this side of the equation. Hotels offer many types of investments for different profiles, making them attractive to backers. “It’s a very gratifying type of investment,” Luis says. “People love hotels.” In Spain, national hotel chains, historically, preferred to own their properties, but these days, the most sophisticated brands, like Melià and NH Hotels, are also following an asset light strategy. This approach allows hotel chains to be more effective in their global strategy, and, as Luis explains, hotel groups want to be present in a range of hotel categories across many markets. He predicts the Spanish market will be following in this direction over the next years, and expects to see more branded properties throughout the country. Watch the video to learn more about JLL, hotel investment, and the changing hotel market in Spain.
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