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HomeNewsHotels and ResortsThere is an Evolving Demand for Extended Stay Accommodation: Anuj Razdan, Vice...

There is an Evolving Demand for Extended Stay Accommodation: Anuj Razdan, Vice President & Head – Products & Industry Relations, FCM India

How has the extended stay industry evolved over the past few years and what trends are you seeing?

The extended stay industry, like the hotel industry, has never been structured apart from a few players such as Ascott Limited, Adina, Marriott Executive Apartments – just to name a few.

Operators in the United States and United Kingdom are not only experiencing record occupancy levels but an increase in the average length of stay. Majority are forecasting an increase in competition and a continued growth in the extended stay industry in the coming years.

The United States continues to offer the highest number of long stay accommodation options to business travellers. Major hotel chains have started noticing the need for extended stay accommodation options due to the surge in demand and popularity in countries such as India, United Kingdom, and Australia.

Hilton Hotels, after conducting extensive research, has created “Project H3”, their extended stay brand designed to meet the needs of a vastly underserved group looking for apartment-style accommodations for 20 nights or more.

In India, the iconic Taj Mahal Delhi now offers one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments as part of their inventory.

What are some of the key benefits of extended stay accommodation for both guests and property owners?

A key benefit for extended stays is the value for money in terms of cost savings. FCM Consulting’s latest Q1-2023 trend report shows an increase of 26 per cent of room rates in Asia. Despite mixed economic conditions, corporate travel demand has remained strong in Q1-2023. Other key benefits for extended stays for corporate travellers are the larger room size with living area, the ability to cook, laundry services and of course the flexibility.

For property owners, extended stays provide their business with a steady flow of income. Business travellers are also regular guests of extended stays which makes bookings predictable, easing their distribution strategy.

What are some of the unique challenges and opportunities that extended stay accommodation face compared to other types of accommodations?

In terms of challenges, most requirements that come in for extended stays would have some form of negotiation in terms of pricing or inclusions – including the ones with agreements. 

Extended stay providers must be flexible especially for project-based long stays as business travellers can decide to move out with little notice leaving the property vacant.

In India, there is also low brand recognition of extended stays and brand value as compared to hotels. Indian extended stay travellers are price conscious. Due to the cost of overheads, properties do face challenges trying to expand in India.

There is an evolving demand for extended stays. With digital transformation, extended stay properties are more included to be digitally evolved to provide corporate travellers an unparallel booking, check-in and stay experience. There are also opportunities in creating staycations, which helps properties have a decent business mix.

What type of amenities and services are typically offered in extended stay accommodation?

Extended stay accommodations typically provide travellers more amenities than hotels such as a fully functional kitchen, water purifier, washing machine, parking space for cars, television with premium applications such as Netflix and more. Additional services apart from housekeeping also includes daily security and vehicle rentals.

How do extended stay accommodations cater to the needs of long-term guests who may be staying for several weeks or months at a time?

One of the most successful traveller offerings in recent years are lifestyle hotels that is focused on travellers who want to experience something unique. According to FCM Global Quarterly Trend Report, ingredients of a lifestyle hotel include lobbies that encourage interaction such as networking opportunities, offering green initiatives, having slick technology and wellbeing choices. Newer hotels such as lfy Collingwood Melbourne or The Hoxton New York are challenging legacy hotels.

Extended stay properties can also personalise their apartments as per the requirements of their travellers to ensure that they feel as much as home while being able to work comfortably.

In addition to standard hotel amenities, extended stay properties provide additional features that are important to long staying travellers such as separate sleeping and living areas, a comfortable working area and more. Some extended stay properties offer lifestyle benefits such as access to fitness centres, discounted rates on gym, swimming pool access and more.

How do extended stay accommodations balance the need to maintain a comfortable and home-like atmosphere while also meeting the expectations of modern travellers?

Anuj Razdan: Extended stay properties are levelling up to meet the expectations of modern travellers by providing smart services such as OTP based locks, faster Wi-Fi connectivity, premium applications on smart television, espresso machines, and even the option of hiring a Chef at a cost.

Modern travellers are also paying attention to their carbon footprints and many properties have started eliminating single use plastics, reduced food, and paper wastage.

What about the safety and security of the guests?

Anuj Razdan: The safety and security of guests at extended stay properties is equally important. Many standard inclusions such as security on premises, fire sprinkler systems, exit points and more are not compromised.

How do extended stay accommodations differentiate themselves from other type of accommodations and stay competitive in the market?

Extended stay properties face stiff competition not only from similar properties but hotels, corporate housing, private rooms, and platforms such as Airbnb.

To remain competitive, extended stay properties not only need to focus on providing long staying travellers with comfort, top of line amenities, inclusions and work on informed decision making.

Several extended stay properties have started to work on neighbourhood marketing by collaborating and getting discounts from various partners located around their premises such as gymnasiums, sports centres, bars and more to add value to their guest’s experience.

They thrive on feedback from clients as they have a large based of repeat and referrals which allows them to improve, enhance and create value for their travellers.






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