The new world of corporate accommodation - Oliver Williams of Stay Lets
As the UK, and hopefully the world, begins to approach some normality post-Covid, we are starting to see a change in perceptions and booking patterns across the whole of the hospitality accommodation market.
The pent up demand for getaways and staycations was released in a torrent from April this year, and doesn't show any signs of slowing.
Serviced apartment businesses, that largely rode out the pandemic with some degree of success, have bounced back to such an extent they are giving the more traditional accommodation businesses a run for their money.
With facilities such as self-check-in, unmanned properties, kitchens and quality Wi-Fi connectivity, these apartments offer flexibility, security and safety that the travelling guest is searching for now more than ever - at a value that hotels simply can't deliver.
Such characteristics provide choice for the traveller. If they wish to limit their contact with others in hotel spaces, restaurants, bars etc, then apartments are clearly the most attractive option.
Such changes in the psychology of travelling guests have meant that this year, lead times for booking leisure stays have increased by at least 300 per cent.
This is wonderful for operators and businesses as with any forecasting of income, managing of the business and associated cash flows becomes a lot more straight forward.
It also leads to greater stability for the associated workforce in these businesses, due to business owners being able to forecast operational requirements with a great deal more accuracy and security.
However, this changes the world for the corporate and executive travel market. Many business travellers, in all sections of industry, often plan travel, visits, meetings, projects at quite short notice. Often leaving only a week or so before securing their accommodation.
Unfortunately, given the change in the leisure market, bookers will have to re-think their planning and get in early. Especially if they want to secure the best value and rates for accommodation.
So, whilst it's great to see the hospitality accommodation industry resurging, do not leave it too late.
Whether a work trip, or much needed time away with loved ones in this wonderful country of ours, get your diaries out now and start planning.
Stay Lets, which launched in 2019, has a block of 19 apartments in Cheltenham and additional accommodation in Egham, Surrey.
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