UK operator sentiment: leisure business dips while corporate travel grows

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 27 August 2019


UK: Overall sentiment in the UK serviced apartment sector has softened slightly since November 2018, according to the latest Savills sand ASAP survey.

According to the results, 46.5 per cent of respondents stated they were ‘slightly to significantly more optimistic’, down from the 50 per cent in November.

Despite a softening in sentiment over the six months period, the survey, which was taken in June, was the strongest on record in terms of percentage of respondents stating they are ‘significantly’ more optimistic for the following 12 months: 23.3 per cent compared to 20.5 per cent in June 2018. Although there was a slight dip in leisure demand, this was against a backdrop of improving demand from corporate guests which now account for a larger share of demand (67.1 per cent).

The number of respondents stating they are accelerating expansion plans is also the highest of any survey to date at 46.5 per cent.

Demand from corporate guests is pushing up the length of average stay to 39.3 days. This increased to 43 days for those respondents who record more than 50 per cent of their demand from corporate guests.

For those with the majority of demand from leisure guests, the average length of stay was 23.8 days. Over the next six months, the majority of demand is expected to continue to come from UK visitors (44 per cent) and the share of European, Asia-Pacific and North American visitors are all expected to increase over the next six months.

Marie Hickey, director in the commercial research team at Savills, said: “Serviced apartments have long been growing in popularity for corporate travellers, providing them with longer term staying options and a stronger sense of autonomy than hotels. This return in demand against a backdrop of wider economic uncertainty will further bolster operator’s existing expansion plans, reflected in the survey.”

James Foice, CEO of ASAP, said: "It’s very motivating to see an increase in confidence from our members, which complements the growth in rising corporate demand, along with the speed of operators’ expansion plans and the increasing length of each individual guest stay. This is truly an exciting time to be representing serviced apartments and aparthotels, and we look forward to another successful year for our sector."



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