Serviced Accommodation in London is Changing and for the Better!

Technology Allows us to Travel Farther, Easier and Faster

Technology has made it much easier for travellers to put together their own tailormade holiday experience, well ahead of travel dates.

The need to always settle for package holidays to save money and for convenience is long gone, as would-be holidaymakers can research all sorts of information online and the most cost-effective solutions.

There are now five billion mobile phones in operation globally, putting internet access at people’s fingertips. According to Google, 70% of travellers with smartphones have used them to research holiday ideas and information.   If anyone knows of any data sources around actual vacation booking statistics via a mobile, please let us know.  pr@merinohospitality.com

An ever-increasing number of those smartphone users will then go on to make a booking using their device, rather than switching to another booking mechanism.

Which is why, one in every two holiday bookings is now via mobile technology (source: booking.com)

This means that travellers can easily research everything from destination profiles, excursions, transport arrangements and so forth, right down to which is the best serviced accommodation in London.

Having this amount of information and control means holidaymakers can choose with confidence and put together highly personalised vacation experiences.

People can also vary the times of day they book their holidays. They are no longer tied to office opening hours.

According to a tourism software company Trekksoft, tour and activity websites see most traffic from searches during evenings.  You may not be surprised to learn that Sunday and Monday evenings are particularly popular for holiday research – because who likes the start of the working week!

The prediction is that internet bookings for holidays and short breaks will continue to climb. According to travel research company Phocuswright, gross bookings for online tours and attractions is set to more than double from $9 billion in 2015 to $21 billion in 2020.

Main Holidays vs Short Breaks

Not all vacation experiences are planned well ahead though, of course.

According to a Google and Phocuswright travel study in 2017, 55% of travellers take one or two major holiday each year.  These are the ones that require most thought and planning. People map out major vacations in advance, from a couple of months ahead of time, to anywhere up to a year before travel dates. Honeymoons and other once in a lifetime holidays are sometimes booked two years in advance.

The research found that short breaks are a different story.  Many travellers see these as a more spontaneous thing. Of those surveyed, 30% admitted to taking unplanned, last minute breaks inspired by promotional offers they came across.

Singles, Couples and Families – All Want Different Things…Imagine!

The main factor that determines the pattern of holiday planning, is the size of your holiday party!  Experience has taught us that planning a last minute trip for any group over 6 people will likely end in tears… Planning such a trip over long haul distances could result in far worse than tears!

Clearly, single people are likely to be in a far better position to hop on the next flight to anywhere and see where the universe and their budget takes them.

Couples are usually slightly less spontaneous, planning holidays a few weeks in advance to blend their preferences and interests.   Even in this situation both parties need to ensure that work or other factors (pets, plants etc) are in sync before ‘pushing-the-button’.

Travelling with a family often requires months of careful planning, particularly if your ‘team’ is larger than four.   For example, many hotels and transport arrangements are only suitable for keeping a group of four together.   Most family friendly holiday destinations will cater to special requirements for larger groups but always check and never assume, especially if your visiting a new culture.

Merino is a very family friendly company so we are in-tune with the trials and tribulations of moving the ‘herd’ from one place to another in as simple a manner as possible.   Merino Hospitality features our 3 bed Mews houses in Bloomsbury, central London.   Many of our family and group guests love that once they arrive in London their serviced accommodation is as spacious and agreeable as their own homes.   Hence our tagline: “Your home in central London”.

You may also be more inclined to travel with your extended family these days – such as an elderly parent in your group. Or, it’s increasingly popular to travel with another family, for twice the fun.   Wheelchair access and other safety elements are incorporated to all our properties to take any of the worry out of your stay.

Travelling with children always requires more forward thinking, no matter whether it’s one baby or a brood of moody teenagers.  For example; planning ahead enables you to find the perfect places to stay in London, close to the sort of attractions and amenities that suit the ages and preferences of any family.

Global Differences in Holiday Booking Patterns

Is there a difference in the way people from different continents book their holiday breaks?

Many of the guests that visit Merino from further afield, say North America and Asia-Pacific tend to book their serviced accommodation in London at least 6 months in advance.  Since London is super busy in the high-season (June-Sept) it makes sense to plan-in-advance to ensure you secure your desired accommodation and vacation itinerary.

However, beyond that, the differences between nationalities have largely smoothed out.   Travellers across the globe rely on the internet more, especially on mobiles, and have similar needs and aspirations.

Although vacation budgets are not increasing dramatically we are seeing a genuine willingness to invest in a quality holiday experience.

For example, people from emerging economies such as China and India are increasingly likely to save up and plan a visit to London.  Travellers from Asia are beginning to rival Americans in their love of British holidays.

In 2016, over 100,000 Chinese tourists visited London on holiday. As the exchange-rate has been favourable, that figure is likely to be larger for 2017.

Well Planned and High Cost Holidays Bring Industry Change

As holidays across such distances do involve considerable cost and planning, it’s shaping some of the changes taking place in the industry.

For example, travel industry reports show that demand for less stops on long flights is higher than ever. This is putting pressure on airlines to develop more direct flight routes*.

The world’s longest single flight was formerly by Qantas, a 17-hour non-stop journey going between Perth and London.  At the time of going to press, that had been superseded by a Singapore Airlines flight lasting 19 hours, to travel from Singapore to Newark, New Jersey.

Travellers are willing to pay the higher costs of direct flights, and other improvements, to gain a better holiday experiences.

The ‘Trade’ refers to it as the “experience economy”.  This describes people willing to plan and save for holidays that are highly memorable and involve a considerable luxury element to them.

We have considerable experience of guest staying in a Merino Serviced Accommodation who are enjoying a ‘bucket list’ vacation in London, which often includes travels to other great European destinations.

We understand that after you’ve invested both energy and money in your vacation you need it to be perfect, that is why we offer a personalised approach to your accommodation needs.   From first contact our experts will work with you to ensure your adventure in London exceeds your expectations.

The impact on Serviced Accommodation in central London

The Merino Team work hard to cater not just for the needs of today’s travellers, but also people planning holidays for the years ahead.

That’s why we have a mobile friendly booking system for our central London serviced accommodation.   We are delighted to offer discounts to those booking in advance, please ask when you enquire reservations@merinohospitality.com.

As our beautiful and uniquely designed serviced accommodation in London are so in demand, last minute bookings are scarce during the high-season. However, if the urge takes you to make a spontaneous trip to London, get in touch for the latest availability.

Otherwise, we look forward to being part of your holiday plans in the months or even years ahead!

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