With almost 827,000 serviced apartments worldwide, up by 10.5% over the last year and a half, this article in Skift discusses the need for the sector to work closer with Airbnb, Booking.com and other online platforms to ensure maximum growth, while evolving as a corporate and leisure accommodation option worldwide.

It describes a lack of consumer awareness of what serviced apartments are, and what they offer by way of hotel-style services such as concierge and guest support, while in comparison says consumers generally know a lot more about Airbnb and Booking.com.

The article quotes the president of AKA Hotel Residences as considering working with Airbnb Plus to replace the ‘expensive OTAs’, and others in the industry also look to be moving towards that platform, which features curated properties with higher design, amenity and customer support standards. However there is the possibility that Airbnb is going to create a higher fee structure for hosts, now they are trialling eliminating guest fees, might bring them closer to the OTAs’ commission which would be less appealing for serviced apartments.

It goes on to consider the tenant backlash at the Niido Powered by Airbnb apartments in Florida; the Airbnb Friendly Buildings Programme; Airbnb being mentioned in almost every session at the Serviced Apartment Summit Americas conference but not attending, while Booking.com were there; and references ASAP Quality Accredited Operator Member Bridgestreet Hospitality’s own booking website.

The conclusion is that Booking and Airbnb must expand awareness of the serviced apartment sector into the mainstream if they want to conquer the alternative accommodation space, and the sector itself must educate consumers as to what this type of accommodation offers.

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