Skift Take

As more affordable sharing economy, serviced apartment, and mid-scale hotel options have become popular with business travelers, high-end hotels have taken a hit.

As the habits and desires of business travelers have shifted in recent years, so too have the priorities of corporate travel buyers who have been forced to adapt to a new normal.

A survey of 243 travel buyers conducted by the Business Travel Show and Association of Serviced Apartment Providers found that buyers are spending more on budget and mid-scale hotels in 2017 compared to previous years, and that most have finally accepted the sharing economy as a part of their programs. The losers seem to be more expensive hotel options.

More buyers are also using serviced apartments, which represent a mid-point between more pricey extended-stay hotels and the relatively unregulated homesharing option that has become more popular among business travelers.

Here’s a breakdown of how buyers have switched up the mix.

How has your use of the following suppliers changed compared to the last 12 months?
More Same Less Don’t use
Five-star hotels 13 31 28 28
Sharing economy 18 36 8 38
Serviced apartments 20 25 12 42
Mid-range hotels 37 47 9 7
Budget hotels 22 37 8 32

“It’s… an honest reflection of the state of the market,” said David Chappie, event director of the Business Travel Show. “For the last two years, our annual survey of travel buyers has shown that the number one challenge facing them is cutting costs while maintaining quality and value for money. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that more buyers are looking to alternative and budget accommodation providers and incorporating these in their travel programs alongside more traditional four- and five-star business hotels.”

Since it was conducted by a serviced apartment association, the research also delves deeper into how travel buyers have shifted their attitude on serviced apartments. For the time being, serviced apartments are still a relatively small portion of accommodation spending.

What percentage of your accommodation budget is spent on serviced apartments? (Answered only by those buyers who use them.)
% 2017 2016
Less than 10 84 90
11-25 13 7
26-50 3 3

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Tags: business travel, sharing economy, travel buyers

Photo credit: The Park Central hotel in New York City. The habits and desires of business travelers have shifted in recent years. Allan Leonard / Flickr

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