With a record-breaking number of tourists flocking to London and overseas tourists set to spend more than £13 billion in 2015, London tops MasterCard’s annual Global Destination Cities Index once more as the world’s “pre-eminent” global city.
Tourism is now Britain’s eighth-largest “exporter” which is having a direct impact upon the growth of the hospitality industry – especially in London as the epicenter of UK tourism. Serviced apartment providers, for instance, that once catered solely to the business traveller are diversifying in order to attract and keep up with the booming leisure market.
Marlin Apartments, the official serviced apartment Industry Leader as awarded at the annual ASAP Awards (Association of Serviced Apartment Providers), continues to stay one step ahead of the competition by appealing to the increasing international guests. Marlin owns and operates around 700 four-star serviced apartments across six leisure destinations in London.
As part of this initiative, Marlin listened to guests needs and, as such, has upgraded the internet service at each of its properties to include a superfast 1GB fibre optic broadband option. Visitors to London – especially those from abroad – are more concerned than ever about international affairs, according to recent research by BBC World News. To help allow guests stay connected to world events and enjoy international channels during their stay, Marlin is trialling the availability of Sky TV at its London Bridge and Canary Wharf properties this summer.
Marlin Apartments’ managing director, Susan Cully, commented on the surge of visitors from abroad: “We have always seen many international guests come through our doors – but ever since the Olympic Games were held here in 2012 tourism has rocketed here in the capital.”
“Guests staying with us from abroad love to stay at our central locations such as London Bridge – which is situated moments from attractions such as The Shard, and great shopping destinations like Oxford Street”, Cully added. “This is why we have chosen to introduce new services firstly to this property – and also our Canary Wharf property which is popular with corporates.”
According to research by CBRE, London has maintained its position as the world’s most international shopping destination this year, with 60% of the world’s high-profile brands resident in the capital. This helps to explain the continuing popularity of the Stratford area for tourism as well, due to the presence of Westfield Stratford City. Marlin was one of the first accommodation providers to enter East London, opening a property in Stratford in 2008 having predicted the current east London leisure trend.
Additionally, Marlin Apartments has devised its own pocket-sized map of London which features the lesser-known “hidden gems” located in the local area, as well as recommendations from the Marlin team. Their multilingual reservations team and concierge at each property can converse in a variety of languages should the guest feel more comfortable speaking in their native tongue. Bookings are taken over the phone 24/7 to account for multiple time-zones.