Technology has totally changed the way we organise our travel and accommodation; the Internet allows us to choose at very short notice from more airlines than ever flying to a huge choice of destinations. Accommodation-wise, specialist sites such as Airbnb offer a vast range of options to suit all tastes, budgets and lifestyles.
Crucially, we hear other travellers’ accommodation experiences – good and bad. Standards and customer expectations of the whole travel experience are high and continue to rise.
To those on average incomes paying their own way, hotel room rates often come as something of a shock. Even business travellers today tend to seek out more budget-friendly options.
Restrictions of hotels
And many of us feel restricted by the traditional hotel set-up; away from the major resorts, how many hotel rooms can comfortably accommodate two parents, two grandparents and two children? Small wonder, then, that the relatively new sector of Serviced Apartments is finding enormous favour worldwide and demand continues to grow.
In these increasingly popular short or long-term buy to let investment properties, serviced apartments are high quality individual units, with one or more bedrooms, fully-equipped kitchens and well-appointed lounge areas. More flexible and family-friendly than traditional hotel rooms, they also represent better value.
They are called ‘serviced’ apartments because of hotel-like benefits, such as maid service, 24-hour reception/concierge facilities and unrestricted access to onsite amenities like pools, gyms, restaurants and bars.
Business and leisure travellers alike appreciate the ‘home-from-home’ environment they offer; total independence to come and go, eat, drink and sleep as you please but with a degree of service included that you won’t find in a private rental.
Rapidly emerging sector
The Serviced Apartment sector is set to double in size between now and the end of 2017, making it the fastest growing hospitality sector in the UK (Savills).
This extra capacity is much needed, with UK inbound tourism at an all-time high and the domestic trend toward ‘staycationing’ in the post-Brexit sterling climate. Furthermore, Travel Intelligence Network has reported an 86% growth in the use of Serviced Apartments by business travellers in recent years.
Obviously, nobody is forecasting the imminent demise of the Hotel Industry as a whole; but anybody with an eye for a property investment with a generous long-term fixed yield income could do a lot worse than investigate the emerging Serviced Apartment sector.