When we attended the Altos 2021 awards in December, we were all in agreement that 2021 was a challenging but uplifting year. The serviced apartment community came together, and we saw business travel bounce back better than we anticipated. At Citystay, we saw people’s priorities changing – favouring safety and cleanliness over anything. And the short stays getting shorter, while the long getting longer – people have been travelling for business largely out of necessity. We’re taking a moment to draw out the positives and reflect on the challenges with our team.
Coming back better
“For me 2021 has continued to showcase the resilience of the serviced apartment sector and the flexibility, safety and comfort it offers all types of travel – whether leisure, business or relocation. The industry has been quick to respond and has taken the challenges as a reason to work harder, push boundaries, and show that we can do better. The change is due to people getting behind a movement, an industry that works together. All serviced apartment colleagues I know are passionate to get behind the cause to rise out of the ashes, adapt and come back better. This is a mentality shown at The Citystay Group. Growth, development and improvement are key values that we’ll continue to hold into 2022.”
Making strides in our cultural transition
“I think for me, 2021 has been another rollercoaster year.
Despite lockdowns, restrictions and the challenges presented, alongside the fact that the pandemic still hangs over us, we have managed to solidify and make some excellent additions to our team. Of which, I am most proud.
Internally we’re making strides in our cultural transition from a small to a medium enterprise whilst externally, our COVID response strategies have worked well. This includes adapting our business model to attract and retain new domestic corporate customers, becoming more appealing to the general public with staycation packages, and developing a quarantine package. We’re determined to not let the pandemic be an excuse for poor service or to slow down our growth trajectory.
Naturally there’s still some anxiety surrounding global business travel, but I look to 2022 with a sense of excitement. I’m most looking forward to seeing all of our team grow and develop themselves, which will in turn grow and develop all our brands under The Citystay Group umbrella.”
Operational strategies beyond government guidance
“I’ve learnt that adaptability is one of the key elements to the success of Citystay. Each update over the last 12 months has been met with a positive mindset, a coordinated and integrated approach with communication clear. The team has pulled together, and this translates to the experience our customers receive.
The joy of travel was frequently replaced with essential travel, with each trip being carefully managed between the corporate travel team and our meticulous reservations team. General information became important information, delivery services became essential and our apartments became a safe place for many unable to travel home. As a business we implemented operational strategies beyond the government’s guidance and advice to ensure risk free travel.
Looking back at 2021, I’m most proud of the fact that:
- We’re working with over 15 new clients who were looking for additional space, comfort and the practicalities that serviced apartments offer.
- Our reservations team have assisted with relocations from across the globe whilst in a global pandemic
- We were shortlisted for the Altos 2021 award, Best Hospitality Operator – Europe.
Going into 2022 I understand many businesses will reassess their travel experience, and I believe this will have a positive impact on the serviced accommodation sector.”