The Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) has unveiled the logo (pictured) for its new Quality Assessment (QA) programme.

The logo has been hailed as a “milestone” for the QA project, which aims to provide the serviced apartment sector with an official set of standards.

ASAP is the trade association for the UK serviced apartment sector. Its 83 members own and operate more than 14,000 properties throughout the UK and Ireland.

Over the past year independent assessors have visited nearly all of ASAP member’s properties and provided each one with a standard. This means all members who have achieved the ASAP QA accreditation will be able to display the approved ‘kitemark’ to its customers.

A list of the criteria that apartments are marked against to achieve the accreditation can be found here.

“The new logo will be a springboard for ASAP to actively promote our members and the valued proposition they bring to the market,” said ASAP managing director James Foice.

“In the New Year we will begin defining a number of sub categories which will include and but are not limited to aparthotel, corporate housing, extended stay, residences, suites and studios.”

ASAP has also defined what a serviced apartment is, something Foice said is “essential” as users are currently “unsure about what they can expect and most importantly there is a lack of global recognition”.

The definition for a serviced apartment as outlined by ASAP is:

“Serviced Apartment is the umbrella term for a type of furnished apartment available for short-term or long-term stays, which provides amenities, housekeeping and a range of services for guests and where most taxes and utilities are included within the rental price”.

At the annual ASAP conference and exhibition in London yesterday, Foice said the one of the next stages of the programme will be how to differentiate between the standard of each apartment that has been accredited. He said no decision had been made yet but admitted they have looked at star ratings similar to the hotel industry.

“We have had discussions around stars, which the majority think is the way to go, but more conversation is needed as we could also go down the route of colour codes or different bands,” he said.

ASAP said it plans to roll out the accreditation programme across Europe and the US.

Rise of serviced apartments

According to the Business Travel Show’s annual buyer survey, which was part published to coincide with the ASAP conference, 13 per cent of buyers booked more serviced apartment accommodation in 2014 than the previous year.

The survey of 179 buyers showed serviced apartments now account for more than 26 per cent of room nights for four per cent of buyers and between 11 and 25 per cent of bookings for a further 12 per cent of buyers.

The study also found 84 per cent of buyers’ accommodation programmes include up to ten per cent of serviced apartments.

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