The global transaction market in hotel real estate was valued at $45.2b (£26.2b) last year, up a massive 63.5% on 2004 figures and smashing all expectations.
A report issued by property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle at the International Hotel Investment Forum, showed the enormous increases were fuelled by more deals crossing continents, with US investors leading the charge into Europe and Asia.
Arthur de Haast, global chief executive of JLL, said: "Operators are now looking acquisitively to grow internationally because they struggle to achieve organic growth."
But the report also predicted the new breed of investor-owners could cause conflicts of interest in the medium- to-long-term future, as investors sought to achieve high returns within increasingly short periods.
De Haast warned: "This could trigger an industry shake-up, with those that survive bearing the strongest brands, management teams and financial discipline."