Extended stay accommodation - the options continue to grow
The Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) released figures earlier this year showing that occupancy rates had grown to 84% in London and 80% outside London.
The average net weekly rental rate in London for the year as a whole was £1,157 (a 5% increase on 2012) with the rest of the UK averaging £620 (a 1% increase on 2012).
It's not just dedicated serviced apartment companies that are growing. The hotel chains are also offering extended stay accommodation. Hilton's Embassy Suites product comprises a room for living as well as a room for sleeping. InterContinental's Staybridge Suites and Marriott's Residence Inn provide a kitchen as well as separate living and sleeping areas. Accor's Adagio provides ready-to-live-in apartments plus optional service.
And the demand in the UK looks set to continue to grow.
THE Wexas INTELLIGENCE:
Corporate accommodation providers are appreciating that some business travel requires more than a great night's sleep and a power shower.
Hotels used to be differentiated by stars. More stars would mean more services. But the accommodation world is changing. Smartphones, laptops and the widespread availability of WiFi have usurped the extra services people working on the move used to need such as business centres, modems, desks and in-room phones. Travellers are also less likely to use the hotel dining room for breakfast and will instead tote their laptop to the coffee shop next door.
Brands are now about more than degree of luxury. Some business travellers are on intense, short trips so need only a nearby hotel that is clean and provides a bathroom and bedroom that work. Some, such as consultants or those on training courses or secondment, may be required at a distant site for many days, even weeks.
These people want enough space so that the laptop can be used somewhere other than the bed and easy access to simple meals and drinks at a reasonable price.
Serviced apartment providers are also more responsive to what managed travel programmes require. In the past these properties were usually booked by individuals. The growth in their popularity in corporate travel programmes is in part because large international providers such as Ascott, which also owns Citadines, and Saco Apartments have made their inventory available on the global distribution system used by Wexas, which means business travel consultants and clients using WTM Online can book easily. Not only is booking easier but done in this way the data can easily be collected for management information reports and audit purposes.
The growth of apartments benefits both travellers - more space, room to work, flexibility about eating arrangements - and companies - more economical when the total cost of travel such as meal costs is taken into account.
Please liaise with your Wexas consultant about your accommodation requirements.
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