Sales to new owners of New Zealand hotels so far this year have exceeded $100 million as the tourism and business travel sectors recover post-covid.

JLL NZ's director of hotels, Nick Thompson, said the NZ market is “once again a beacon for investors”.

He said this quarter has seen five major deals go ahead, with more in the pipeline. Hotels continue to perform strongly, with rebounding international tourism fuelling the local industry.

Thompson, citing confidentiality clauses, was unable to list the transactions as they are off-market and remain confidential deals.

The values of the sales ranged between $5m and $30m and included both local investors and offshore private equity, he said.

The sales are in both regional locations and major centres around NZ.

“Investors are always looking to invest in places like Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch," Thompson said.

He confirmed Christchurch’s Chateau on the Park sale “paused” last year.

With financial headwinds ahead, it remains unclear whether the volume of sales will increase.

“I would expect people are reviewing their positions this year as to what they want to do with assets.”

Distinction Hotels Group's owner, Geoff Thomson, recently bought Mount Cook Hotel Collection, comprising the Mackenzie Country Hotel in Twizel, and the Heritage Gateway Hotel and Countrytime Hotel in Omarama. 

The return of international visitors was a key factor in buying the hotels, Thomson said.

“Tourists back on our shores is great news for the hotels and hospitality industry.”

JLL's head of debt advisory, Mark Farrands, said hotels and accommodation is a market that has performed “better and better” since last year. 

He said the sector remains strong as it is well supported by appetite from the funding market. Towards the end of last year, JLL worked with 15 lenders across a range of banks and non-banks in NZ and overseas.