Customers demanding more from accommodations industry
Monday, November 26, 2012
In today's volatile economic climate, the need for service providers in the hospitality industry to maximize their offerings has never been greater. Although corporate travel managers have become more discerning in light of reduced budgets and a greater need to secure suitable return on investment from business travel spending, today's executives expect more from their accommodations experience. Serviced apartments and corporate housing provide unparalleled comfort and superior value, but many business travelers also want hospitality service providers to be more environmentally conscious.
According to IF Press, many customers are expressing heightened interest in the ways in which their hotels are working to reduce their carbon footprint. The news source reports that, according to a recent Deloitte survey, 95 percent of 1,000 business travelers polled said they felt hotels and service providers in the hospitality sector should be doing more to adopt environmentally friendly policies in their properties. An additional 38 percent had gone one step further and actually researched the environmental impact of prospective hotels before booking.
These findings were supported by other similar studies. Research published in the 2012 Canadian Travel Intentions Survey suggested that 42 percent of business travelers said practices such as recycling and energy efficiency were important factors in their choice of where to stay. An additional 42 percent of respondents indicated they would pay at least $1 more in order to offset the carbon footprint of their visit.
The topic of environmental responsibility in the hospitality sector has become increasingly commonplace during the past few years. At the recent World Travel Market conference, John Firrell, managing director of London-based Considerate Hoteliers, said that both business travelers and recreational tourists were creating heightened demand for environmentally conscious hotels, corporate apartments and even family owned properties.
"It's absolute common sense that if you're going to build or retrofit a hotel, you're going to want to put in measures that are going to save money, save energy [and] save waste," said Firrell, as quoted by the news source. "Those applications can equally be applied to five-star hotels or a bed and breakfast."
The changing face of the hospitality industry is not limited to a heightened interest in environmental sustainability. Today's consumers are becoming much more discerning in their choice of accommodations, largely due to the favorable conditions created by increased demand and competition for customers.
While serviced apartments have long been popular with business travelers, increasing numbers of tourists are choosing this type of accommodation over typical hotel chains. According to LiveMint, more recreational travelers are choosing to stay in managed properties than ever before.
"The demand for alternative options to hotels has been growing since the last few years," Inderjeet Singh, a real estate developer and construction professional, told the news source. "It is not only corporates who are staying in serviced apartments, but foreign independent travelers and leisure travelers have now started opting for such accommodation because of its various affordable price points and unique homely ambience different from hotels’ corporate environment."
Many experts in the hospitality industry feel that increased competition for both business travelers and recreational tourists will spur demand for serviced apartments and managed properties in the coming years. Although this sector of the accommodations industry is worth an estimated $25 billion in the U.S. alone, emerging markets such as India have noticed an increased demand for this type of housing in both the corporate and recreational sectors.
In particular, entrepreneurs of smaller commercial enterprises are choosing serviced apartments over traditional chain hotels due to their cost-effectiveness and the superior standard of service offered by this type of accommodation.