ASAP managing director James Foice said the organisation, which currently represents 74 operators, 6 agents and 25 partners, has ambitious plans to make sure the sector’s growth to become a £500m industry is reflected in its profile with Government, the media and among its peers.
“Our membership has grown by 35% in the last two years alone and Serviced Apartments represent 12% of the accommodation offering in London alone with a prediction that it will reach 14% in 2015, so our role is to make
sure our members can operate in a market environment that allows them to grow and prosper.”
Citing Government plans to de-regulate short term accommodation in London, Foice said: “This is a key policy issue for our members and while we will be urging Government to press ahead with deregulation, we must make sure there are sufficient checks and balances to protect customers. The consequences of deregulation also need to be properly understood by political and industry stakeholders.”
Turning to his two-year strategy for the ASAP, Foice said he planned to deliver new services to attract new members and deliver value for money. “We have already made great strides with the ASAP quality assessment programme, and my ambition is for all operator members to achieve full compliance.”
He added: “In a de-regulated short term letting marketplace, accreditation is essential. Customers need to know that when they book with an ASAP member, their accommodation meets expectations but delivers those expectations safely and legally. If we can boost our overall representation to 180 fully accredited members operating 30,000 apartments, that will be a compelling proposition for corporates and individuals seeking an alternative to traditional hotel-style accommodation.”
Foice said he also planned to target international operators, many of whom are exploring the investment potential of the UK market.
“ASAP has an important role to play in attracting inward investment into serviced apartments, and we’d like to sign up 20 international operators as members by the end of 2016.”