These days business travel budgets are lower, airline fares are on the rise, energy costs are escalating and the capacity to accommodate the needs of business travellers is limited. In an online forum, a recent discussion demonstrated the effects these changes are having. The discussion revolved around the feeling among business travellers that they are entitled to first and business class travel.
As one response pointed out, although economy class might be a good option for leisure travellers, business travellers have slightly different needs. For those regularly away on business, it’s much more important that their travel is comfortable and that they can make the most of their time. In particular, the more comfortable travel offered by business and first class options allows travellers to work, sleep and recharge while on the go, making it easier for them to start work as soon as they reach their destination and making the whole thing a much more enjoyable experience.
There are other ways to make savings than putting business travellers through the torture of regular long haul flights in economy class. Video conferencing, flexible working hours and off-season travel are some options to make savings, but there are circumstances when travelling can’t be avoided. Using serviced apartments for corporate accommodation is an easy way to make business travel more cost effective.
Rates at serviced apartments are generally per night instead of per person so companies don’t need to pay for additional visitors. Moreover, the pricing model is more straightforward as it is inclusive of utility bills and involves fewer extra charges such as laundry bills, because guests can be more self-sufficient.
Serviced apartments offer better value for money for longer stays. For stays of one night, serviced apartments generally cost the same as hotel rooms but provide more space and more facilities. For stays of 7 nights, serviced apartments are generally cheaper than accommodation at a hotel. For stays of 30 nights, serviced apartments are always cheaper than the equivalent standard of hotel accommodation and for stays of 90 nights choosing serviced apartments means savings of up to 30%.
Serviced apartments are able to offer savings for various reasons. In particular, they require fewer employees, because maid service is less frequent than in hotels and there are fewer extra services. Dining costs are low for guests staying in a serviced apartment as the apartments come with kitchens or kitchenettes, meaning that guests can cook their own food according to their convenience and flexibility, unlike hotels where a restaurant is guests’ main dining option. Nearly all hotels come with a restaurant because it is almost a necessity for hotels to provide at least one dining option for their guests. Restaurants costs are high, as they are labour intensive, there are food preparation costs, health and safety expenditures, and they have high maintenance costs. Finally, hotel room rates often include breakfast costs no matter whether the guests have it or not. That could mean that the guests pay for something they are not even using.
Pictured: Nathan Road Apartments