Serviced Apartments, Hotels and Relocation in an Economic Downturn

By now we’ve all become accustomed to hearing the well coined phrase that is recession. The UK has come to terms with a double dip recession and as the global economic roller coaster journey continues and Britain’s economy slips further into the red we quietly ponder the prospect of a triple dip recession. But what does this mean for business travel?

Business travel for some time has been under scrutiny following on from the banking crisis and triggered economic downturn. Businesses have been forced to review and address internal policy and expenditure with a clear objective to cut costs. Advances in technology have helped streamline travel programs eliminating unnecessary costs. On-line meetings and webinars are now a common daily occurrence replacing the need in some instances for costly scheduled day return flights and overnight hotel stays. However what technology can’t replace is the need to move personnel between worldwide offices for longer stays on assignment as well as relocation moves.

In 2012, global relocation firm Cartus predicted a 57% increase in relocation. New markets were opening, companies tired of being constricted by the recession wanted to opt for growth and expansion rather than sitting still and facing dwindling opportunities.

The serviced apartment sector has provided a lifeline for these companies open to change and willing to adopt new smarter buying practices. For short stays of a few days there is no denying hotels offer that all-encompassing service meeting the needs of the weary business traveller. But when a few days is extended to a few weeks, months and on occasions years, now consider that same hotel room!

Relocating to London for the individual facing the move can be a source of stress and disruption. Insurance firm Aviva asked consumers between April and May in 2012 about relocation. The average stay is 1-5 years. 68% described it as a challenging process and more than half said they moved back home because they missed their family.

From a cost perspective it’s not just the price of the hotel room, food and beverage, laundering costs, internet access often charged daily or weekly, but arguably more important is the welfare and mental well-being of the guest forced to tolerate life in one room.

For individuals or families facing the prospect of an extended stay away from home or relocation it can be a time of increased stress and disruption. Insurance firm Aviva asked consumers between April and May in 2012 about relocation. The average stay is 1-5 years. 68% described it as a challenging process and more than half said they moved back home because they missed their family.

For extended stays in London serviced apartments offer typical savings of up to 30% compared to hotel and for colleagues sharing a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom apartment replacing the need for two hotel rooms, increased savings can be made. And with apartments offering a fully fitted kitchen including oven, hob, fridge freezer, dishwasher and washer dryer as standard, guests have the ultimate freedom and flexibility to eat in or dine out. Comfortably furnished lounge and dining areas separate from the bedroom provide the much-needed space to lead a balanced healthy lifestyle.

Increasingly companies are incorporating extended stay solutions as part of their companys’ travel program as the greater benefits both in terms of cost and employee welfare are realised. For businesses looking for accommodation in London and an alternative solution to hotels, serviced apartments are the answer; they help reduce costs on longer stays, and offer flexible terms.