An accommodation revolution has been taking place across London for thousands of business and leisure travellers. Gone are the days when traditional hotels reigned supreme, to make way for a powerful new adversary within the corporate accommodation market. Serviced apartments provide business travellers with the opportunity to relax at leisure, prepare for meetings, and feel at home whilst staying in one of the world’s busiest cities. It is this feeling of freedom that has been fundamental to the success of the serviced apartment industry.
London has experienced the biggest change in recent years thanks to the swift growth of the serviced apartment sector. From an initially slow start London is now the dominant European leader in terms of both volume and revenue. The UK accounted for 11.3% of the total revenue produced within this sector by all 27 EU countries in 2009. This figure comes as no surprise when you realise that the combined serviced apartment stock within London pre Olympics is estimated at one hundred thousand units. Even with this high figure average occupancy growth has increased year on year by 6% since 2008 demonstrating increasing demand from both leisure and business travellers.
A number of London’s leading providers, including us - Think Apartments, have also further adapted the serviced apartment model into apart-hotels. Apart–hotels feature additional services such as professional 24 hour reception, lounge/ coffee area, additional housekeeping and, as being trialled at the Thinks Earls Court, an innovative blue key concierge service. By running an apart- hotel model providers are breaching the services gap between hotels and apartments and encouraging new thinking and new business from the market.
The Olympics will be a trying time for all accommodation providers within central London. The city will be absorbing one million extra visitors during the three weeks of the games. This will be an exceptional opportunity to demonstrate the attributes that are growing the serviced apartment industry and engaging travellers and agents alike.
Posted by James Sykes-Hagen, Business Development Manager, Think Apartments.
Think Apartments is exhibiting at the Business Travel Show, 7-8 February 2012. To register for a buyer pass, please visit www.businesstravelshow.com