Investment in hotels in the first half of 2008 was $43bn (£21.7bn) less than for the same period in 2007, Jones Lang LaSalle has said.

During the first six months of the year $13.9bn (£7bn) was traded on hotels worldwide, a reduction by more than three quarters on the record-breaking $56.7bn (£28.6m) traded in the first half of 2007.

‘Whilst transaction activity has shown a marked decline from the historical highs achieved over the last two years, we are still cautiously optimistic about the future of hotel investments over the medium term,’ said Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels’ global chief executive Arthur de Haast.

‘At $13.9 billion, hotel investment volumes are now at a level comparable to that of 2004, which similarly recorded $14bn (£7bn) worth of transactions within the first half of the year.’

By region, the biggest drop was in the Americas which experienced an 81% nose-dive.

The next worst was Asia Pacific, where levels dropped by 67%, followed by Europe, Middle East and Africa, which dropped by 59%.

But Jones Lang Lasalle said there is still confidence in the hotels sector with buyers out-numbering sellers by four-to-one.

It said while there is still strong demand in key markets like France, Germany and Italy, there is a noticeable increase in investor interest in emerging markets like Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey and Russia.