This spring the first ASAP network event took place at an amazing location on the Brussels Grand Place. This was hosted by BBF, leader in the rental of serviced apartments, and sponsored by KBC Brussels. BBF Serviced Apartments, or previously Brussels Business Flats, has been an important player in providing temporary accommodation to expats and employees of international companies and organisations since 1992. BBF currently operates more than 1700 apartments in Brussels and Budapest, and recently it has also set foot in Antwerp.
'“Belgium has a thriving market of serviced apartments” '
Joël Vanmellaert, Managing Director of BBF, tells us: “Belgium, especially Brussels with its international institutions, has had a thriving market of apartments with services for years. This is mainly due to the attractive prices for longer periods and the convenience as well as the benefits of renting an apartment with services. Both for tenants and the persons responsible for housing their employees.
To date, however, there is no competent representation that represents the interests of the sector and can draw the lines in conjunction with the economic and local government. In Brussels last year, the minimum period for residential rentals was suddenly increased to 90 days. And this to the regret of a number of important companies that rented only for periods of 1 month from BBF.”
As a member of ASAP (the Association of Serviced Apartments Providers) we not only have a better view of what is going on in this international market, but we also convey more confidence and expertise. ”
The organisation is focused on guaranteeing confidence in booking a serviced apartment with consumers all over the world. Especially since this type of accommodation is relatively new and often unknown to the larger public.
Every year ASAP carries out a thorough inspection of the apartments with its members. The Quality Accreditation is the leading system for quality assessment, recognition and reporting for the industry. The ASAP quality mark is recognized worldwide as the leading accreditation in the industry. Relocation agencies and global travel buyers in particular see the importance of working with accredited suppliers.
The network meeting also aimed to propose a Belgian ASAP entity in relation to the recent changes to legislation in Brussels. And to ascertain to what extent other suppliers in Belgium regard this as an enrichment for the market.
“I am very excited about the new chapter of ASAP in Belgium.” James Foice, CEO of ASAP, said during the event. “We are grateful to BBF and the other Belgian members for the opportunity to expand, evolve and grow as an association. This European chapter for ASAP is very exciting and we can’t wait to see what else will come. “
James Foice continues: “The demand for apartments has risen worldwide in the last 12 months. With more and more people moving for their jobs, an apartment with services is a relatively cheaper option than traditional accommodation. The accreditation body has been an important promoter for our industry. We hope that this local chapter can also grow as a local representative of reliable and professional providers. With the support of BBF, our relationship with the European market is being strengthened, a topic that we will also address at the ASAP convention held every year in London during December. We also plan to secure further partnerships around the world over the next five years. BBF is a great team and a good partner on board. And we are proud to support this new opportunity for our industry. “