Serviced Apartment Summit 2014
Serviced Apartment Summit (July 2014)
Philip Camble, Director at Whitebridge Hospitality, was invited to moderate a panel session at this year's Serviced Apartment Summit in London.
His panel consisted of the only all-lady cast and included Diana Ndirwa (Frasers Hospitality), Tracey Stephenson (Staying Cool) and Rebecca Hollants van Loocke (The Ascott Ltd). "I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for being such great sports and for making our session such a success".
The session moderated by Phil was titled 'Little & Large" and looked at "How scaleable a process is serviced apartment operation? What are the challenges and opportunities presented by small, medium and large developments?"
The event, which ran over two days, was extremely well attended (over 250 delegates) and the quality of the speakers and participants very high. A quick summary of the key takeaways includes:
- The sector needs clear definitions to facilitate planning applications and funding.
- More transparency in the form of performance data is required via providers such as STR Global.
- Branding can add significant value to an extended-stay operation, particularly when securing contracts with large international corporates.
- There is a greater shift towards shorter stay extended-stay models, which should benefit the traditional aparthotel operators and hotel operators with extended-stay brand extensions.
- The Middle East is a land of opportunity, especially as many serviced apartment operations are Sharia compliant (i.e. do not sell alcohol).
- The Ascott will not demolish the Cavendish and build 500 apartments.
- Franchise and management agreements in the branded serviced apartment sector are very similar to those in the hotel sector.
- There is a new concept to hit the market soon - look out for Zoku!
Well done to event organiser Piers Brown and the team for hosting such a great event.