Business travel buyers boost UK serviced apartment sector

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A poll carried out by the Business Travel Show in collaboration with Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) has shown a significant leap in the use of serviced apartments by business travel buyers.

Nearly four in every ten (39 per cent) corporate buyers who took part in the research claim they will have used serviced apartments more in 2016 than 2015. This figure compares to increases of 19 per cent and 13 per cent in 2015 and 2014, respectively. 41 per cent of buyers used fewer five-star hotels. 60 per cent will use more budget range hotels and 87 per cent more mid-range suppliers.

The top five reasons given by buyers for using serviced apartments over alternative accommodation options are:

The convenience of having a self-catering option

Better value for money

More space

The flexibility serviced apartments allow for experiencing the location like a local resident

Long term suitability

James Foice, chief executive of the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers, commented: “It’s fantastic to see almost double the number of corporate buyers – 39% in this year’s poll – confirming they’ve booked more serviced apartments this year. Our sector is in a very exciting growth period and these survey results are proof that we are delivering exactly what corporate buyers want in terms of a more flexible way to stay which offers guests the freedom to cook, better value for money and more space and privacy.

“And, at a time when the sharing economy is increasing, it’s great to be able to report that our ASAP Quality Accreditation programme is being widely welcomed by the corporate buyer, who can book serviced apartments with confidence with ASAP quality accredited operators knowing they fulfil all the critical compliance, health and safety and duty of care requirements.”

David Chapple, event director, Business Travel Show, added: “Compared to just a few years ago, the accommodation sector has really matured in terms of the variety of accommodation and budget options on offer. The rise and rise of serviced apartments and the entrance of ‘sharing economy’ suppliers into the industry have helped to shake the market up a bit, introduce some healthy competition and give buyers and travellers a much wider choice, and choice is always a good thing.

“At the Business Travel Show, buyers can meet suppliers from all areas of the market: global hotel giants including Hilton Worldwide, independents such as Nadler Hotels, budget chains like Premier Inn, accommodation alternatives including Airbnb and the serviced apartment providers in ASAP’s member pavilion.”

178 business travel buyers responded to the poll, which was carried out in November 2016. 61 per cent of the respondents are UK-based and 37 per cent are from continental Europe. 66 per cent of buyers taking part have an annual travel budget of £1 million or more.

ASAP will host a pavilion of its members at the Business Travel Show in 2017, including Berkshire Rooms, Brussels Business Flats, City Apartments, Fountain Court Apartments, Frasers Hospitality, Marlin Apartments, Premier Apartments, Roomspace and StayCity.

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