Investment potential in the hotels sector remains great, especially for investors seeking long-term growth, said Robert McIntosh, Managing Director of CBRE Hotels Asia Pacific.

McIntosh made the comment at a seminar on investment strategies held on Sept. 27 in HCM City . He said the hotel sector has recovered very quickly after the global financial crisis. Growth in revenue per available room is at least 20 percent higher than levels before the crisis.

Although the country's real estate market has come to a standstill, hotels in Hanoi and HCM City are still seeing strong growth in recent years. This year, both Hanoi and HCM City saw room rates rise by at least 5 to 10 percent against 2010, or a 15 to 20 percent increase compared to 2009.

CBRE experts said the lower-end of the sector, which consists of cheap hotels, offered some of the greatest investment opportunities for canny investors.

Due to high interest rates on loans in Vietnam , three-star hotels presented the best opportunity for investors looking for high returns. However, according to experts at CBRE Vietnam, cheap hotels needed to increase their business efficiency.

Also at the seminar, experts from CBRE analysed various investment options in the hotel industry, including developing Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and determining the importance of management and consultation companies during construction of hotel projects./.