The serviced apartment sector is not mature enough to be featured on GDS systems despite its growth in recent years, a new report said earlier this week. Inconsistencies in the market, such as a lack of grading and brand recognition, have caused the sector to suffer in distribution, as well as insufficient supply.
“Attempts to create a GDS for serviced apartments have foundered on the fundamental issue of recognising an apartment. The lack of brand recognition and inconsistencies between extended stay products doesn’t help matters, and without a classification scheme for apartments the task facing TMCs and leisure travel agents becomes virtually impossible,” The Apartment Service’s Global Serviced Apartments Industry Report 2011-12explained.
“Most operators are only interested in being on the GDS for last-minute sales or to fill gaps in occupancy, and even then the kind of short-stay bookings the GDS deliver are at rates the operator would not want to extend on a regular basis”.
However, the report said suppliers would be more willing to put small allocation on GDS once there are recognised brands and more units within an area and 71% think a global code is feasible. The extended stay and apart-hotel market has grown by 34.1% in inventory compared to last year with occupancy picking up to almost record levels in the last 12-18 months.
Marriott and InterContinental continue to dominate the market with their brands but Pierre & Vacances entered the top 15 this year as the fifth largest apartment provider. Space, the self-catering element and price continue to drive bookings and 90% of operators expect growth next year.