While the jury is still out on the impact Brexit will have on the UK economy, Select Apartments, an independent serviced apartment provider, recently commissioned a survey to gain a better insight into how its customers are managing their businesses and what they are looking for from their business travel providers during these uncertain times.
Commentators across the serviced apartment industry have been positive in their outlook, saying that “we should be confident for the future” and “Brexit will have a positive impact on the country”, especially with the weaker pound boosting more overseas investment in the UK, more visitors arriving both for business and leisure, as well as the benefits for British exporters.
In addition, says Simon Morrison, Managing Director at Select Apartments: “The serviced apartment sector is seeing rapid growth, a trend that promisingly looks to continue upwards. But as much as our industry is thriving we wanted to understand what business is like for our customers, across the sectors of banking, finance, insurance and management consultancy. We wanted to really understand what is happening in their companies, what the challenges are now and how we can help provide a service that meets their current business travel requirements.”
The survey, which took a sample of 4000 people across the company’s multi-sector clients threw up some interesting results. A surprising 68% felt that Brexit would have a negative impact on their business, with 82.14% of respondents saying they believe the UK economy will shrink over the next twelve months. The good news, however, is that a healthy 57.14% said that their companies were not planning any staff cutbacks, with 4% planning to increase their head count – all in all a positive sign.
Morrison comments: “What comes across loud and clear from the survey is that companies are not standing still but are erring on the side of caution and want us to stay competitively priced and offer good added value. We already offer a free airport chauffeur service, which 65.22% of our respondents said they would definitely use, a Tastecard and free access to business centres in London with our new partners OSIT. We will be launching a fridge-filling service in the New Year, which 34.78% said they would welcome. In addition, we’ll also be launching a new text service, which will enable our customers to communicate more effectively with us, and where all our added value services will be available to book easily. This insight really has been key for us, as it will help us support our clients during these times of uncertainty and help us to develop and roll out more added value programmes that meet our client’s needs.”