Serviced Apartment News Operator Survey

Serviced Apartment News has today (7 April) released the findings of their operator survey as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Key findings include:

• 58 per cent of operators have not laid off staff
• 30 per cent of operators have closed buildings
• More than 70 per cent of operators have had discussions with landlords about rent reductions or rent holidays
• 36 per cent of operators have suspended contracts with suppliers of goods and services
• 68 per cent of operators expect business travel to bounce back before leisure travel
• Estimates of how long it will take for levels of business to return to pre-pandemic levels vary from a month to more than 18 months

Operators have adapted their business model to respond to the crisis and identified strategies such as shorter notice to vacate terms, increased support for staff, sharing positive news stories and increased communication with owners and investors.

When asked about their considerations for the future of their own business, the response was fairly positive including that openings were still due to go ahead, albeit delayed, considerations for a change in model which is able to be more flexible and adaptable, and how firms were now more resilient and thinking outside of the box.

In terms of the future of the industry, one comment in particular stood out for us here at Quality in Tourism.

"It will change for the better, particularly with regards how properties are cleaned to make sure certain standards are in place. It will change how properties are certified. It will improve brand reliability and credibility. I see how it could also help bring together an effective scoring or star rating system across the serviced apartment/corporate housing sectors."

Deborah Heather, Director of Quality in Tourism says “This is something we as an organisation have been striving for over the past few years and why we created our Safe, Clean & LegalTM accreditation which is moderated and approved through a Primary Authority partnership with Cornwall Council.  There is a ready-made solution in place to ensure not only that accommodation meets a basic safety & cleanliness standard but we also can offer impartial quality star ratings so that consumers know exactly what to expect. We have been working in the serviced apartment industry with CAP Worldwide, joining the Serviced Apartment Forum for Assessment and Accreditation (SAFFAA) to discuss industry standards. We are also a recommended accreditation supplier with international serviced apartment supplier, SilverDoor. We believe that this current pandemic will accelerate the need for such standards and we are ready to take on the assessments!”

Read the full report from Serviced Apartment News here

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