5 serviced apartment and aparthotel trends for 2019

Piers Brown By Piers Brown
Uploaded 4 weeks ago

It's five years since we first published my serviced apartment trends predictions, so allow me to jump on the trend bandwagon for 2019. I have a very clear vision for the year ahead. I think 2019 is going to look a lot like 2018. Brexit aside, and I don't profess to have a crystal ball about that, - no major changes, no sudden alterations.  A few things will grow a little, a few things will decrease. But if you truly step back and look at the big picture for 2019 what would probably strike you more than anything else is just how similar things will be from this year to next.

Here's a quick snapshot of my top five:

  • We still trust - just not the way we used to

Is trust really in crisis? There's something far more fundamental happening. As everything from the election of Trump and Brexit suggests, we've lost faith in many media sources, traditional institutions and leaders. Yet millions of us are advocates of the sharing economy: we stay in accommodation and get into cars with people we don't know and share and 'like' information from total strangers. We're at the start of the third biggest trust shift in human history. The consequences of this shift, both good and bad, can't be underestimated.

  • Digital marketing engagement metrics

Serviced apartment brands still can't get enough Likes.

Despite an ever-increasing need to demonstrate ROI, many hospitality marketers continue to focus on social metrics, such as Likes, that give little indication of how effective content and ad offerings truly are. Our annual Serviced Apartment Digital Benchmark Report is an example, which have traditionally been the simplest data points to access and understand - it's also becoming outdated. It is now possible for marketers to easily see more useful metrics, such as those concerning engagement, so expect to see a shift of focus for serviced apartment brands of all sizes, reflected in the year ahead and our 2019 report.

  • More aparthotel and serviced apartment brands

For hotels, creating brands and engendering loyalty among guests is key to success amid the rise of OTA's - Marriott's brand portfolio is a great example. The last 12 months has seen this filter through into new or rebranded aparthotel and serviced apartment brands and we expect the pace to continue, otherwise the moment that stops commoditisation sets in and the OTA's are going to rule. Being nimble, whilst remaining relevant helps businesses understand very quickly which brands have the chance to be maintained and which will ultimately die.

  • 'It's OK to try new things'

Faster innovation should be on the list of every CEO's key areas of focus as they look to keep their business on top of changing leisure and business guest demands. This may involve changing the culture to become more like a startup and adopting an 'it's OK to try new things' approach, knowing if it is not a big success you don't have to keep it for years. It's OK to just learn the marketplace.

The dominant serviced apartment companies will be those that commit to diversifying their portfolio to becoming "a total accommodation company" in order to align with leisure and business trends, whilst perhaps broadening their core serviced apartment business. We witnessed an example of this early in 2018 with BridgeStreet launching its own OTA dedicated to business travel

  • Mental health: the words hospitality can't ignore

At any one time, a sixth of the population in England aged 16 to 64 have a mental health problem, according to statistics body NHS Digital.

It's clear 21st Century life is taking its toll on more people. The 'always on' society, economic uncertainty, social media, the influence of the media, job uncertainty and rising expectations of employers of what life should be like are all contributing to the growth in mental health issues. On the rise since the early 1990's, undoubtedly there's more awareness and people are becoming more willing to report and admit mental health problems. With the UK Government committing £2 billion and forward thinking businesses like Lloyds Bank's recent #GetTheInsideOut campaign placing a spotlight more from a help-others perspective, hospitality and travel employers will need to take more steps to address mental health issues in the workplace. Read more here

 

Continue reading to see how we did with our 2018, 2017, 2016,  2015 and 2014 trend predictions.

 

 

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