The millennial generation are a breed of tech savvy
travellers where the need to access the digital world has become of paramount
importance. In a recent study released by SACO The Serviced Apartment Company,
research shows that the requirement for a high-speed internet connection gets
top billing (even above the quality of the cuisine) when selecting
Harper the Sales Director of SACO states that “in our expanding portfolio, we
have placed digital at the heart of our strategy” to woo the segment of the
market that by 2020 will represent over half the work force. The plan
will be to implement super fast internet access across the SACO portfolio in
ensuring that the best digital infrastructure is rolled out in all their
properties, SACO is also conscious of changing travel habits. This is reflected
in the need to design flexible spaces which are conducive for socialising and
networking rather than focussing heavily on ‘in-room’ entertainment facilities.
SACO has even introduced ‘supper clubs’ at some venues (at their own expense) which
encourages guests staying in their apartments to meet, socialise and network
over beer and pizza. This added extra goes beyond the standard ‘loyalty reward
card’ which the report indicates is unlikely to satisfy the ‘millennial
traveller’ who is deluged with so many differing choices that such cards rarely
meet their new demands.
booking engine is a simple 3-step process and is coupled with a highly
responsive search facility to pinpoint all relevant properties within a set
radius. They are also testing new in apartment technology such as keyless
access and smart TV’s as part of their continued development. The report
suggests that millennials tend to bring their own digital entertainment with
them, so there has been a move away from filling rooms with systems containing
a huge library of entertainment.
is noticing that established clients and new business are all seeing the
benefits of having their staff located in one apartment and not just from a
cost efficiency point of view (which tends to work out at a 25% reduction over
traditional hotel tariffs). Integrating staff with each other can also have a
myriad of positive effects. Harper also wants to ensure that ‘the personal
touch is not lost’ and is quick to confirm that the overall guest satisfaction
rate stands at 93%.
have seen that adapting to a new set of preferences, behavioural
patterns and focusing on ‘digital’ innovations is positioning the company’s
long term future to cater for generation ‘Y’ and to be prepared for and cater
to generation ‘Z’. SACO seems to be mirroring the UK government’s plans to
become more digitally competitive and to redefine the internet as a utility
service, similar to the provision of electricity and running water.
With around 90% of SACO’s bookings coming from corporate and
business travel clients and the Global Business Travel Association predicting
that business travel will expand by 6.6% in 2015, SACO is adapting to the new
travel landscape and is ready for a new generation.
Any comments? Email: Zoe Vernor