Serviced Apartments in Germany still on the road to success
Berlin, March 18th, 2009 – Although the economic situation is difficult, serviced apartments are still successful in Germany. This is the résumé of Anett Gregorius, general manager of Boardinghouse Consulting. For almost 10 years, the Apartmentservice by Boardinghouse Consulting is the largest independent guide for serviced apartments in Germany. “The total market of serviced apartments in Germany showed continuing high occupancies”, says the expert. “There is an ongoing trend to the so called “suite concept”. This concept describes an apartment house which offers the wide selection of services asked for by a typical hotel guest. Due to the larger accommodation units and an individual living concept with rates comparable or even lower than in a classic hotel concept, the serviced apartments rate significantly better.”
Unique about the concept of serviced apartments is that it was especially developed for business travellers. For that reason 85 per cent of all bookings were generated in this segment. Only 15 per cent of the bookings were made by individual travellers.
Just as times are difficult, serviced apartments are a good solution for companies to save on their travel budgets. Compared to hotel accommodations, the rates are 20 to 50 per cent lower although the focus of serviced apartments is to offer a comfortable home which contributes to an excellent quality of life especially to long-term business travellers.
The money can be saved on services the majority of modern business travellers can do without: the 24/7 reception desk, the daily cleaning of the hotel room, the banqueting facilities the traveller doesn’t use, the room service as the necessary groceries can be bought at the supermarket nearby.
Development of the Market
Today, 330 apartment houses with almost 18,000 units are available on the German market – with an upward trend. Particularly the market for mixed concept of hotels and apartment houses will increase steadily. About 50 per cent of all serviced apartments are operated by individual enterprises (“stand alone“). The other half is operated by smaller chains which generally possess a large number of accommodation units. The boundaries between classic hotels and serviced apartments often overlap.
“Unlike in the hotel branch, the chances for individual and innovative niche concepts in the serviced apartment segment are promising”, says Anett Gregorius. “Many guests attach importance to the positioning of serviced apartment product which shall be clearly silhouetted against the products of the big hotel brands.”
However, the year 2008 mirrors the trend that international apartment operators make an impact on the German market more and more. These operators definitely belong to hotel chains. Brands like Adina, Adagio and Citadines will set the German market in motion.
Despite the steadily high occupancy on the total market, the submarkets experienced variances: During the last year, Munich has been a “stronghold” for long-term projects. In 2008 business in this destination suffered serious loss. The economical development of major enterprises like Siemens had an important influence. Only the operators were successful who compensated the loss of long-term business by extending their business to short-term bookings. In the end, Munich was demoted to rank 4 of the German wide examination.
Clear winner on the market is the destination Berlin due to the relocation of many company head quarters, various long-term projects as well as an increasing number of guest performances.
The destination Hamburg is still attractive and reached rank 2. Upward climber of the year is the destination Düsseldorf on rank 3.
In the last years, only destinations with main economical centres were interesting for business travellers, e. g. the metropolises Hamburg, Munich and Berlin. It astonishes now that the number of enquiries for medium-sized towns with a cultural background and a gaining economical importance, e. g. cities like Regensburg, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe or Bonn, are increasing.
Currently, a strong request for long-term accommodation in the price segment around EUR 1,500.00 per month for a studio apartment is observed. Particularly for long-stay bookings it is necessary to distinguish between the demands of national and international guests: For the national guest the most important factor for his decision is still the price. But the international guest prefers a spacious accommodation with good services. Studios – apartments with a combined living and sleeping area and a kitchenette – don’t satisfy the expectations of international business clients and are often not acceptable for them. However, the number of these international guests is rising. As the expectations of the international guests are higher regarding the quality and size of the apartments, they are prepared to pay an adequate price.
“In the years to come the boundaries between serviced apartments and classic hotel accommodation will become more and more undefined”, Anett Gregorius explains. “The focus is and will be to have attractive spacious apartment units and an individual living ambiance in the serviced apartment to silhouette significantly from a hotel concept.” There are openings of apartment houses planned in 2009. The market will still grow in the main economical destinations like Berlin, Hamburg and Munich.
The Apartmentservice is the largest independent platform for Serviced Apartments in Germany and currently presents more than 6,000 apartments in 20 German cities The international equivalent APARTMENTSERVICE International makes Serviced Apartments available all around the world.
Boardinghouse Consulting Anett Gregorius Berliner Allee 96 13088 Berlin - Germany phone: +49 (0)30 96 06 09 49-0 fax: +49 (0)30 96 06 0949-19 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.apartmentservice.de