Controlling costs remains the top priority when booking and managing accommodation, according to the latest quarterly market update from SilverDoor.
Many businesses in the EMEA region are asking their travellers to travel further to not only get cheaper rates but also access higher quality accommodation.
In the UK, for example, commuter belt locations such as Reading and Milton Keynes have seen a marked increase in demand from companies looking to accommodate staff within reach of London but also save on city-based rates.
For many, the standard commute time tipping point is between 30-45 minutes but this can be extended to an hour.
Meanwhile, lead times between March and May are up by nearly a third (29%) from 28 to 36 days, compared to the same period in 2022, as businesses are taking a longer-term approach to accommodation planning.
Both relocation companies and corporates believe earlier bookings offer lower rates and are planning further ahead to mitigate the risk of higher last-minute rates.
Another trend identified by the Silverdoor report is businesses booking fewer but longer-term trips, to reduce the number of flights booked.
Stephen Homsey, Regional Head, Americas, SilverDoor, said: “Cost continues to be the determining factor for both corporate and relocation managers when planning their accommodation strategies. This is driven not only by the current economic challenges and hiring slowdowns, but also by the growing influence and impact of sustainability and ESG targets.
“However, whilst there is the opportunity to sacrifice location and short commute times to help manage this, the same compromise can’t be made on the quality and standards of accommodation that is booked and this also remains a top priority, second only to cost. Businesses and employees want to be assured of safe accommodation with suitable facilities that meet their policy requirements.
“Given the need to maintain quality whilst at the same time control costs, both businesses and operators have needed to adopt broader, more diverse strategies when managing accommodation.
“Globally these strategies have been characterised by a longer term approach to bookings with lead times significantly increasing at a global level. It is reassuring to see demand is still there albeit in a new guise and with an ever-sharpened focus on costs.
“We expect budget-sensitivity to impact the market in the months ahead so operators need to bear this in mind when planning rates and working with corporates and relocation companies who are willing to take a diverse approach to their accommodation strategy.”
SilverDoor Apartments offers clients an inventory of over 3,000 property operators.