The fourth Serviced Apartment Summit Europe was held at the Park Plaza Victoria, London, this July, with Buying Business Travel (BBT) named as the event’s official UK media partner. It has been hosted annually since 2013, and has rapidly grown in size and popularity since. The London conference attracts high profile guests from not only Europe, but also Australia, Saudi Arabia, the Americas and elsewhere.
What is the Serviced Apartment Summit?
The Serviced Apartment Summit conference is an annual b2b industry event for businesses within the sector to get together, in order to share their best practices, network with like-minded businesspeople and do business with others within their industry. This year, approximately 300 business leaders from all around the world were in attendance to attend the prestigious summit. Guest speakers included Guus Bakker, Boaz Beeri and Michael Bibring, amongst many other big names within the serviced apartment industry.
The Key Messages for 2017
Trevor Williams of TW Consultancy informed the summit that growth in the UK economy had slowed to 0.2 and 0.3 per cent in the first two quarters this year. All growth noted was within the services sector. He added that the Bank of England would probably not raise interest rates, despite the long term benefits of doing so once the country has completed Brexit and left the EU.
Hotel data firm STR provided statistics to show that revenue per available room (otherwise known as revpar) rose by approximately 7% within the hotel sector, and close behind was a 6.5% rise within the UK serviced apartment sector. For the latter sector within the UK, occupancies stood at 78% – an increase of 1.9% year-on-year.
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With the aforementioned stats in mind, the outlook for 2017 is positive on the whole, with supply ‘headwinds’ predicted to benefit London, Manchester, and Edinburgh, whilst Brussels, Milan and Paris are set to rebound. A panel of investment and financial experts agreed that serviced apartments or ‘aparthotels’ were the way forward, and appealed more to sovereign wealth investors than hotels. When compared to hotels, it was pointed out that they come with less complexity and better added value when setting up, with planning consent far easier to obtain.