Nearly a third of corporate travel buyers increased their use of serviced apartments in 2018, according to a survey by the Business Travel Show.
This is a big leap from the 20 per cent who turned to serviced apartments more often in 2017. In addition, it was the only accommodation category to see an increase in use over the last 12 months, according to the survey of 134 travel buyers.
Thirty-five per cent of respondents said they had used the same amount of serviced apartments as they did in 2017 – up from 25 per cent in the previous year’s survey.
When asked why they chose to book serviced apartments, the number one reason given by buyers was “better value for money”, followed by convenience of the self-catering option, more space, flexibility to experience the location like a local resident and long-term suitability.
Buyers are also allocating a higher proportion of their budget to serviced apartments; 77 per cent spent less than 10 per cent of their budget on the accommodation option – down from 90 per cent in 2016. Meanwhile, 17 per cent allocated 11-25 per cent, compared to just 7 per cent in 2016.
For the first time in the survey’s history, a small number of buyers said they allocated 51-100 per cent of their budget to serviced apartments, with 1 per cent claiming to spend their entire accommodation budget on this option.
The number of buyers who didn’t use serviced apartments dropped from 42 per cent in 2017 to 32 per cent in 2018, whereas the proportion not using sharing economy accommodation options such as Airbnb rose from 38 per cent to 45 per cent. Furthermore, the number that haven’t used five-star hotels also went up slightly from 28 per cent to 31 per cent.
The survey was carried out in association with the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) ahead of this week’s ASAP Convention.
The 25th annual Business Travel Show takes place on 20 and 21 February 2019 at Olympia London.
David Chapple, event director of the Business Travel Show, said: “These are pretty extraordinary statistics that prove the industry is making considerable headway in raising awareness of serviced apartments as valid and valuable alternative accommodation for business travellers. Not only are more buyers aware of serviced apartments as an option, they also appreciate the pros they offer to their travellers and are much more open to including them in their travel programmes.
“I think these results also reflect the ongoing pressure on buyers to cut cost and display improved ROI on travel spend as well as the desire from younger travellers to enjoy the flexibility provided by alternative accommodation providers.”
James Foice, CEO of the ASAP, added: “I am delighted to see a 29 per cent increase in corporate buyers booking serviced apartments this year compared to 2017. The landscape is rapidly evolving for the serviced apartment sector and we’re seeing a significant increase in supply year on year.
“This year, in particular, we have found that more and more companies are booking two-bedroom or two-bathroom apartments, as colleagues will often share the apartment, making it a more cost-effective choice as well as giving employees working away from home some companionship. A two-bedroom option also provides privacy and collaboration space under one roof.”
Online registration for the Business Travel Show is now open at businesstravelshow.com/register