Tuesday, 17 December 2013

GUEST BLOG: Keeping standards high in the serviced apartment sector

As the years pass, the serviced apartment sector is becoming better understood in, and appreciated by, the travel industry and in the last couple of years in particular its popularity has soared among businesses and leisure travellers.

Susan Cully, managing director, Marlin Apartments

In Europe, London is the most mature serviced apartment market. However, with just 8,000 units in total, equating to 1.2 per thousand travellers (New York has 5.2) it is small in comparison globally. The good news is that demand is growing and new openings are more frequent. This is thanks in part to the Olympic Games, which led to a surge of building launches in 2012. The even better news is that expansion continued throughout 2013 and is not expected to dip any time soon. According to a recent report by Jones LangLasalle, further growth of 4 per cent is forecast by the end of 2015.

As the market matures, occupancy rates continue to rise and demand from bookers and travellers grows, it’s not surprising the sector has found itself under scrutiny to be accountable and transparent to its customers and in my opinion this can only be a good thing. As managing director of Marlin Apartments, I was very happy to be in the room when ASAP announced (at its recent AGM) that it will be launching a quality assurance programme early next year to provide a set of guidelines for the sector against which providers can benchmark themselves and ensure that standards for customers remain high.

I personally believe this is a really positive step forward for the serviced apartment sector in the UK and Ireland and, once established, will be a very valuable tool in securing even more confidence in this growing and much in demand industry.

This blog post was written by Susan Cully who is managing director of Marlin Apartments, London’s leading owner occupier of serviced apartments. Marlin Apartments is exhibiting at the Business Travel Show on stand B1400 and appointments can be made through sales@marlinapartments.com. For more information, please visit www.marlinapartments.com       


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