2015 is projected to see a growth in business travel across the globe. So how can serviced apartment providers like Clarendon prove they are the best alternative to hotels? By being clear about the benefits.
As new markets open up in 2015 global business travel is expected to grow. China recently knocked the US off the top of the poll as the world’s biggest economy (IMF) while this autumn the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) predicted that India’s business travel spending will grow faster than they had originally believed, from 8.6% in 2014 to 9.2% in 2015.
Each of those new business travellers when they arrive in Gatwick, Heathrow or Stansted will be looking for a place to stay. For those wanting extended stay accommodation the numbers suggest that a serviced apartment is more cost-effective than a hotel; there are specialist longer term rates for an apartment and expenses are cheaper so it is a more attractive accommodation solution. But how do providers, like Clarendon, ensure that message gets out to those new marketplaces?
The key is clear communication. With 26 years of experience in providing serviced apartment accommodation in London, Clarendon has seen the ebb and flow of the global economy. Global business travel is now at one of its highest rates and it becomes increasingly important to target new markets and sell the benefits of alternative accommodation. Clarendon works extensively with corporate business travel agents as well as a variety of companies that know that on location, price and service, Clarendon can’t be beaten.
A serviced apartment offers what we call a “home from home”. Being able to sleep, relax, cook, exercise, watch TV and even work in the comfort of your own apartment means you get an accommodation hotel cannot match, unless you fork out for a huge suite. An extended stay or relocation means a guest isn’t looking for a place to lay their head for a couple of nights; they’re looking for a base, a temporary home and an apartment offers that. There is privacy, flexibility and freedom which attracts many global travellers wanting to do business in the capital.
A serviced apartment also helps to reduce the expenses bill. One of the benefits hit by the global downturn in terms of business was the travel expenses account. Although they are starting to rise slightly again it’s unlikely businesses will ever allow their staff the same amount of cash on a visit. A serviced apartment becomes more cost-effective because a guest is able to cook their own meals and reduce the need for expensive restaurant and eating out bills. There’s a greater flexibility as guests can come and go. Not only is the bill reduced because of expenses but rates are often lower when spread out across an extended stay; there are reduced VAT rates with Clarendon for those staying over 28 nights (it drops from 20% to 4%).
Clarendon also prides itself on the range of accommodation it offers for extended stay guests. When relocating or moving to London for several weeks or months guests often want to bring pets or family with them. A hotel room simply isn’t going to cut it, but a two or three bedroom apartment certainly will. With location across the capital from leafy Richmond to picturesque Kew as well as the urban Canary Wharf and glittering West End Clarendon believes in providing choice.
As global business travel increases over the coming months it will become important for serviced apartment providers to sell the lifestyle and the service. Travellers are not looking to spend a lot of money but instead want a flexible lifestyle that suits their needs. Being able to fulfil that ensures that demand will be met in more ways than one.