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Feature: Serviced Apartments ➔


providers to start up a programme. “I think loyalty programmes will come into play over the next five years or so. It will definitely happen in the future. You can see it already with individual apartments already having market-driven programmes,” she says. The serviced apartment sector has also been working hard in the last couple of years to establish best practise in the industry. This is particularly important as there are so many diverse players in the field, from the accidental landlord who couldn’t sell his upmarket apartment in the recession to the giant aparthotel companies. Skyline’s Swift says his company has been working with the Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) to build a framework which will help clients know what to expect when they book a serviced apartment. He says, “We want to see happening in this sector what Hilton did for hotels – standardising the product so people know what to expect when they arrive. It is exciting seeing people get together to bring in standards that have for so long not been checked.” Silverdoor’s Winstone, the company’s representative at the HBAA, thinks it’s crucial that buyers see the sector as it does the hotel industry, with clearly defined standards. He adds: “We are working on putting a code


Deep Blue Apartment's Evangelist House


of conduct in place. If you look at how hotel booking agents and hotels work together, we want a similar thing for serviced apartments. We also want to share best practise as a sector. “We need our customers to see we are a professional organisation that is looking after their best interests and has ethical relationships with suppliers. We want travel managers to see high standards and better best practice.” Despite a thriving marketplace, there are still issues. Most providers agree that despite all


the work they have done to promote the cause and benefits of the serviced apartment, there can still be a degree of confusion about the product itself. Frasers’ Bakker explains: “I think the industry


still needs to structure itself more. We need to educate potential guests about what exactly the industry is offering. At the moment the product is very broad, from corporate housing with limited services to serviced apartments with almost full services. This has been a bit





The Business T


ravel Magazine


and ITM Dragon Boat and Family Fun Day


Sunday 10th July - 12pm onwards Oakley Court Hotel, Windsor


As well as the racing, the day will include many landside activities including bouncy castles, face painting, magicians, circus workshop, assault course and much more.


Come along and enjoy the day!


Both ITM and The Business Travel Magazine are still recruiting crews for their boats, if you’d like to take part or require more information about the day please contact David Clare on 020 8649 7233 or david.clare@bmipublishing.co.uk


18 I THE BUSINESS TRAVEL MAGAZINE 34


ONLY ONE TEAM SPACE REMAINING


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