Nearly one-fifth (19 per cent) of travel managers booked more serviced apartment accommodation this year, an increase of 4 per cent on 2014, according to the latest Business Travel Show buyer survey.
The number of buyers for whom serviced apartments accounted for more than 50 per cent of their bookings doubled from 1 to 2 per cent, though for 89 per cent of buyers they account for 10 per cent or less (84 per cent in 2014).
The statistics were unveiled in the annual Business Travel Show buyer survey to coincide with this week’s The Association of Serviced Apartment Providers’ (ASAP) annual conference. The Business Travel Show is exhibiting at the event for the first time.
182 European buyers took part in the survey, 72 per cent from the UK. Key findings included:
19 per cent booked more, or significantly more, serviced apartment rooms this year compared with 2014;
81 per cent booked the same or fewer (87 per cent in 2014);
Serviced apartments account for more than 50 per cent of room nights for 2 per cent of buyers (1 per cent in 2014);
89 per cent of buyers’ accommodation programmes include up to 10 per cent of serviced apartments (84 per cent in 2014).
Nearly half (48 per cent) of buyers insist travellers stay in serviced apartments when their trip exceeds a certain duration:
Three nights or more – 16 per cent of buyers (11 per cent in 2014)
One to two weeks – 12 per cent (22 per cent in 2014)
Two to four weeks – 11 per cent (8 per cent in 2014)
Over one month – 9 per cent (6 per cent in 2014)
Thirty-eight per cent of respondents had more money to spend on accommodation this year, compared to 30 per cent in 2014. One third will have more budget again in 2016. Over half (51 per cent) of buyers will book in excess of 5,000 room nights during 2015, an increase of 12 per cent on last year.
James Foice, managing director of the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP), commented: “It’s fantastic to see 20 per cent of European buyers surveyed by the Business Travel Show reporting that they have booked significantly more room nights in serviced apartments in 2015. This supports our own research, which confirms that the sector is entering a very significant period of growth with many serviced apartment operators opening new developments across the UK in the next two years.
“It is extremely heartening to see such positive feedback from the business travel sector who are clearly finding the serviced apartment product really does deliver what the business traveller wants: a more flexible way to stay away with more living space and kitchen facilities. Prospects for 2016 are extremely encouraging and I am confident the market will continue to expand.”
Serviced apartments have been a familiar sight at the Business Travel Show since 2010. The show, which is the leading specialised exhibition and conference for buyers and managers of business travel, takes place on 24-25 February 2016 at Olympia Grand in London.