JLL Hotels and Hospitality Senior Vice President, Gareth Closter.

Plans to establish a specialist mid-markets and management rights platform has led JLL Hotels and Hospitality to add strength to its team, with the company announcing the recruitment of experienced real estate operative, Gareth Closter.

JLL’s new division comes in response to huge investor interest in regional assets and the long-term growth potential of regional Australia as tourism destinations even when international borders reopen for both inbound and outbound holiday visitors.

Closter comes onboard at JLL after five years with Resortbrokers where he oversaw management rights sales. Prior to this, he held a senior brokerage role with Colliers International, facilitating the sale of office buildings, retail complexes, development sites and hotels.

The 44-room Marina Resort in Nelson Bay was recently purchased by the Doma Group and Bartlett Group.

JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group CEO Asia Pacific, Mike Batchelor, said Closter’s appointment was the first of several new names to come onboard in the coming weeks.

“This is a natural progression from the market-leading success of our hotel capital markets and pubs businesses, further entrenching JLL as the country’s only full spectrum hotels & hospitality real estate advisory group,” he said.

JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group Managing Director and Head of Investment Sales, Peter Harper, said there is a gap in the market for a more institutional service offering to match the growth and evolution of the regional motels, caravan parks and management rights sector.

“The mid-markets sector of the Australian hotel investment market remains incredibly active and in recent years we’ve seen a growing level of institutionalisation in the space, particularly amongst management rights, regional motels and caravan parks,” Harper said.