SACO Apartments managing director Stephen Hanton has renewed calls for the introduction of a set of standards in the serviced apartment industry.

Speaking to BBT Hanton said the continued lack of standardisation increases the threat of decreasing investment into the sector.

He said despite positive economic growth predicted for 2014 and strong buyer demand for serviced apartments the “threat of a lack of investment remains”.

A report last year from The Apartment Service stated that standardisation of service levels and industry practice is “essential” to address corporate and agencies’ concerns.

The study also said standardisation is needed to drive greater understanding of the industry that will help the sector realise its potential.

Hanton said there had been discussions recently with key figures but said for the standards to work it requires buy-in from the whole industry.

“The sector needs to attract investors and that’s why we’re trying to work towards standardising data. There should be standards for anything from occupancy rates to knowing what a £200 a night apartment will get you.”

“It’s a pioneering industry so there needs to be some leadership on this as we’re all trying to work towards a common goal but we need everyone to come together to achieve this.”

Last month SACO was awarded Best Serviced Apartment Provider at the Business Travel Awards.

This followed a successful 12 months for the company during which time it launched a new technology platform that increased online sales by 50 per cent.

The technology also enhanced distribution and booking capability on the GDS improving accessibility and availability for booking agents.

SACO said in the financial year 2012/13, year to date sales to corporate clients increased 34% and the TMC channel experienced 44% growth.

“We work very hard to help push serviced apartments in the hospitality industry and we relish the challenge in helping to lead the way,” Hanton added.

“SACO has experienced phenomenal growth and success over the last 12 months and we have exciting plans for the future.”

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