This article in Hotels Magazine (on subscription) discusses the situation for the serviced apartment sector, which it describes as “in the midst of a revolution”.
Growth of 80% in the past seven years has also attracted the attention of competitors and hospitality brands are expanding their extended-stay inventory, while Airbnb continues to push into the corporate space with a new search tool designed for business travelers.
Big hotel brands such as AccorHotels and Hilton are increasingly embracing the serviced apartment model due to a lack of brand awareness in a sector which has been slow to innovate, especially when compared with the ever-growing number of select-service lifestyle hotel brands. The successful reception of new brands like Zoku, SACO’s Locke and Bridgestreet’s Mode demonstrates the appetite for such products.
The message is that, in the world of increasing short-term overseas assignments since the global credit crunch, rather than long-term relocations, and Airbnb creating a mainstream awareness of hotel alternatives and then plundering this market for its own growth, if brands want to continue growing they must stop relying on organic expansion and innovate to meet the shifting demands of tomorrow’s travelers.