Tuesday, 22 October 2013

WHERE NEXT FOR THE SERVICED APARTMENT SECTOR?

There’s no doubt the industry has seen a significant increase in awareness  – and understanding – of the serviced apartment model in recent years, but what more could operators be doing to make themselves appealing to business travellers and to capture its share of the accommodation budget?

Marlin Apartments
 According to this year’s Global Serviced Apartments Industry Report from The Apartment Service, demand for serviced apartments is outstripping supply in many territories. This is due, in part, to the greater adoption of serviced apartments in travel policies, but also to more apartment operators taking short-stay (less than one week) business away from hotels.

But the report also claims that the serviced apartment sector still has a very long way to go and that its shortfalls are, in fact, self-inflicted. How?
  • Varying terminology between territories (serviced apartment in the UK, corporate housing in the US, etc)
  • Varying consistency of the product 
  • Lack of synergy between the product and the GDS distribution channels used by TMCs
  • Lack of recognised ratings system
Dolphin Square

So what’s the answer? According to TAS, the key to driving an even greater understanding of serviced apartments is through greater standardisation and the introduction and adoption of an industry-wide code of conduct for operators.

Let’s hope it’s not too long before these steps are taken and the serviced apartment sector can take another well-deserved leap forward in being accepted by corporate travellers and managers.

This post was written by David Chapple, who is event director of the Business Travel Show, which takes place 4-5 February 2013. Buyers can visit the ASAP (Association of Serviced Apartment Providers) Pavilion at the show, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2014. 



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