This article in Re:locate magazine discusses how those managing corporate relocations and international assignments need to be sure of quality, compliance, tracking and security within the alternative accommodation sector, especially in the face of cost control and peer-to-peer recommendations.
Several big hotel chains are offering improved aparthotel models, and many corporates are responding to the increased competition; so this is the time for the serviced apartment sector to work ever-closer with the employer.
With Airbnb chasing the business market, competition for the customer is high, and more companies are realising that it is too risky to allow travellers to be subjected to compliance issues, from tax and immigration to duty of care.
One way the serviced apartment sector is fighting back is via online booking, recently improved for the relocation sector by BridgeStreet announcing the first OTA for business travel, offering its 65,000+ serviced apartments in more than 60 countries instantly searchable and bookable from its website.
The article also quotes Oakwood Worldwide on being flexible and moving with the workforce, if necessary out of London and into other areas of the world, especially Dublin and Singapore. SACO’s major expansion across the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands is also featured, and its aparthotel brand Locke. These new locations are all major UK and European hub cities attracting a mix of transient business travellers, extended stay visitors and the new demand from leisure travellers.
The article questions: do corporate relocation buyers care very much about serviced accommodation? And is the sector ready to focus on being flexible, to devote time and energy to increasing supply in less obvious locations just as much as popular city centre business-districts?