One-fifth of corporate travel buyers have reported that they increased their use of serviced apartment suppliers in 2017, according to research by the Business Travel Show and the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP).
The survey of 243 buyers revealed a similar number directed more of their 2017 spend to budget hotels, while more than a third booked mid-range hotels. Contrastingly, 28 per cent used five-star properties less often, compare to just 12 per cent on serviced apartments.
Value for money was the most cited reason for using serviced apartments (57 per cent), followed by convenience, flexibility, extra space and long-term suitability.
The amount of budget being spent on serviced apartments is also on the up, with 13 per cent of buyers shifting between 11 and 25 per cent on these properties, compared to 7 per cent in 2016.
However, 42 per cent of respondents said they don’t use serviced apartments, while 38 per cent still refuse sharing economy providers – although this is a significant drop from 91 per cent in 2016.
James Foice, chief executive of ASAP, said: “The popularity of our serviced apartment product has never been higher, with the significant increase in supply this year – more than 2,000 new units have opened right across the UK in 2017. 17 per cent growth in supply is forecast by 2020, so this trend is all set to continue.”
David Chapple, event director of the Business Travel Show, commented: “Our research is great news for the serviced apartment community and is testament to the work ASAP has done in raising awareness of, and building trust in, the industry and its suppliers.
“It’s also an honest reflection of the state of the market. For the last two years, our annual survey of travel buyers has shown that the number one challenge facing them is cutting costs while maintaining quality and value for money. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that more buyers are looking to alternative and budget accommodation providers and incorporating these in their travel programmes alongside more traditional four and five-star business hotels.”
Online registration for the Business Travel Show is now open at businesstravelshow.com/register.