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Serviced Apartment Camp

( Already one day before the ITB on the 9th of March an exciting meeting for the hospitality industry happened in Berlin. As BarCamp organised, with the motto „share knowledge, to increase your own knowledge“ boarding-house owner, agents, travel manager, journalists and people interested in the topic “Serviced Apartments” came together to exchange ideas.

The segment of Serviced Apartments is mainly designed for long-term guests, but the alternative of staying in an apartment instead of a classic hotel room is getting more and more interesting for business travellers and tourists. Serviced Apartments are geared to private apartments in size and equipment. Compared to uniform and exchangeable hotel rooms serviced apartments offer a personal and generous space. This feeling of being home will be completed by hotel services, which can be add individually from every guest. Particularly in times of the financial crisis, business and individual travellers are looking for an alternative for a small budget. With rates 20-50% under the price level of quality comparable hotel rooms, the branch of Serviced Apartments is growing and convinces even in times of the crisis.

A lot of growth – a lot to talk about in the 1st Serviced Apartment Camp! All the subjects were chosen by the attendant themselves and in detail discussed in workshops.

One of the core subjects of the active and open forum was the, until now missing, definition of standards in the area of Serviced Apartments. Everyone agreed about the importance to find a definition for Serviced Apartments or boarding-houses to draw a line between the classical hotel industry, private supplier of apartments or holiday flats.

The necessity of a certification for Serviced Apartments was confirmed by all the attendants and will be expedite with enthusiasm by the branch. The certification system exists already since 2005 and was developed by Boardinghouse Consulting and the TÜV Rheinland Group. The Service Quality Standard (SQS) for serviced apartments is an addition to the hotel classification and categorised with „A“, for example AA means Economy House and AAAAA Excellent Boardinghouse. With the promotion of the certification a new transparency was established, which will guarantee service quality and will help future guests to choose their home from home.

The 1st Serviced Apartment Camp showed with clarity the professionalism and engagement of the protagonists in the area of Serviced Apartments and will be for sure not the last networking get-together of all people interested in the subject.

Michael Seipelt

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