The past 25 years since the foundation of Clarendon Serviced Apartments has seen not only the British, but the world economy dip, rise and dip in a dramatic fashion not witnessed since the Wall Street Crash of 1929.
The economy was ‘getting back in swing’ after the 1987 crash when Clarendon first started business in 1988. However, it was only a little while later in 1989 that we witnessed the arrival of the first of the major economic dips of the modern era, caused by a combination of an illusionary recovery and a remarkably high annual inflation rate, all linked to America.
Clarendon were leading the way with, what at the time in the UK was the relatively new concept of the extended-stay serviced apartment. It was only really in 1990, with the publicity from the takeover of the extended-stay Staybridge and Candlewood hotel ‘brands’ by the InterContinental Hotels Group, that the extended-stay concept began to gain awareness by the wider-travelling business public.
Clarendon seized the opportunity and began developing luxury serviced apartments in what the company management termed “relevant and appropriate” areas of London. And as the recession of the 90’s took hold, international business travellers increasingly turned to serviced apartments in an attempt to fine tune their extended stays in London, and Clarendon were well-placed to service the by-now, more budget conscious business traveller.
By the arrival of the latest recession, Clarendon held a portfolio of fine quality apartment properties in some of the most ‘relevant’ boroughs of London, all in convenient proximity to the major international business areas – Canary Wharf, Paddington, and the City to mention but a few of the prime locations they currently have properties available in.
The current world austerity measures have seen all but the most foolhardy of businesses reassessing their travel budgets and making cutbacks wherever they can. Many businesses now rely more on computer technology – webinars, Skype, video-conferencing – to save on intercontinental travel and what they now see as potentially over-expensive face-to-face meetings.
But the fact remains that the co-location of executives, where businesses no longer can have one, remote international headquarters, will continue. International travel between continents will long remain a prerequisite of true international business.
The upside for those businesses utilising international travel and accommodation is that their astute procurement departments are realising the huge cost savings that can potentially be made by using serviced apartments for extended stays, and Clarendon will continue to invest, grow and promote their portfolio in keeping with this.