Smart Strategies for Cost-Effective Corporate Housing 

Employee experience remains a key indicator of a successful mobility program. However, budgets are unlikely to grow in proportion to rising costs and a steady or increasing volume of relocations. So, how can you achieve more with less in your corporate housing program? By making strategic decisions in your temporary living policy, you can maximize your existing budget without compromising on the essential elements. 

Determine What’s Important 

No two relocation or business travel programs are exactly alike. Your business priorities, employee needs, key locations, timelines and countless other factors make your combined requirements unique. Therefore, it’s essential to prioritize what matters most to you. 

Man working in a Synergy apartment

Start with your primary locations. Where do you need your employees to be? What is the volume of relocations in these areas? Is it seasonal? Do you have central hubs, or do you require small groups of employees in a multitude of locations? 

Next, consider your offices, project sites, or client locations. What’s available in these areas? Is there sufficient public transportation, ensuring easy and safe access for your employees, or is the infrastructure more variable? Do you provide company-run transportation and what distance will it cover? Is the area safe? Is there ample fully furnished rental accommodations, or is the corporate rental market limited? 

Think about your employees’ needs. What is non-negotiable for them? What specific access requirements do individuals have? What healthcare services must be easily accessible? What amenities are necessary in their accommodation or nearby? 

Implement Small Changes for Big Impact 

Once you’ve identified your needs, consider making simple adjustments that can reduce costs or add value in the short term while still meeting essential requirements. Here are some ideas: 

Expand your location search: Consider exploring less busy areas or those slightly further from the city center. With safe and effective transportation, a slightly longer commute can often offer better value for the money. 

Evaluate provided facilities: Assess whether you are paying for amenities that you already offer. For instance, if you have an onsite gym, selecting properties without these facilities can stretch your budget further. 

Optimize hotel tax requirements: Make sure you’re taking full advantage of hotel tax regulations. Taxes like hotel tax, lodging tax, or the Transient Occupancy Tax in California apply to short-term stays and are not limited to the USA. These taxes are usually triggered by stays under a certain duration. If your employees typically stay for at least a month, extending their stay by a day or two might help avoid these taxes. The cost of the extra days could be lower than the tax on a shorter stay.  

Consider a Strategic Shift 

Implementing significant changes to your corporate housing policy might require an initial investment, but projecting long-term costs can yield substantial benefits. For instance, turnkey leases, which are long-term leases allowing multiple stays throughout the term, may involve a higher upfront cost. However, if you anticipate consistent occupancy, this approach can lead to significant savings and the opportunity to secure more favorable lease terms typical of longer contracts. 

Additionally, consider block bookings when you need a large number of properties over an extended period. This strategy can offer advantages such as better lease terms, reduced costs, and guaranteed availability, making it a cost-effective solution for meeting your corporate housing needs. 

Leverage Your Corporate Housing Partner 

Partnering with a global corporate housing provider can offer overall cost savings and added value. By tapping into a broader client base beyond your own purchasing needs, you can gain the leverage necessary to secure better pricing and favorable terms. A global provider can obtain advantageous lease terms typical of longer contracts by combining your stays with those of other clients in their portfolio. This strategy allows you to benefit from the perks of long-term leases without the need for a direct commitment to such contracts. 

Harness Synergy’s Global Expertise 

Synergy’s global expertise offers you consulting and advice from a partner who truly understands your strategy and priorities. With our extensive corporate travel and global mobility experience, we can provide you with tailored best practice suggestions, saving you the effort and time spent on research and administration to find the perfect solution. 

Our team of experts on the ground provides valuable insights into the specific areas you need, alongside strategic consultation. They stay current with market changes in real time and can help you forecast and adapt, ensuring your program is future-proof. 

Contact your Synergy team today to find out how we can help you add value without compromise. 

5 Minutes with Masood Ahmed: An Overview of India’s Serviced Accommodation Landscape

India’s serviced accommodation landscape is booming. As key industries flourish amidst impactful market forces, we are seeing a substantial influx of business travellers both within the country, across Asia Pacific and beyond.

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) recently shared promising insight that India’s travel industry is expected to fully recover to its pre-COVID business travel spend in 2025, and is expected to reach 120% of its pre-COVID business travel spend by 2027. This healthy recovery, combined with a rebound of tourism is paving the way for a thriving serviced accommodation landscape.

Synergy has seen a meaningful year of growth in room nights across India. This uptick in demand for serviced accommodations follows the economic development of domestic and international organisations in major industries including IT, banking and pharmaceuticals.

Seeking to dive deeper into this vibrant and thriving ecosystem, we took some time to sit down with our Bengaluru-based Masood Ahmed, Business Development & Supply Chain Manager APAC, to give us the down-low on the latest of serviced accommodations and corporate travel in India. Here’s what we learned.

Q: Demand for serviced accommodations is thriving in India. What’s driving this growth?

Masood: There are so many factors contributing to this remarkable surge we’re seeing—from economic growth, to globalisation, emerging industries and the development of tourism infrastructure. I see India truly as the land of opportunities at the moment.

These solid foundations have placed India in an attractive spot for local and international investors. Local businesses are keen to get their travellers back on the road post-Covid, while the bounce back of global economies has driven a surge in globalisation.

As organisations set up local subsidiaries across prominent business hubs, we’re seeing a wave of investment into serviced accommodation options which provide business travellers with easy access to their offices. We know how important location and proximity to the office is for travel managers, so this is only set to grow.

Additionally, as Gen z and Millennials make their mark on the professional world, traveller demographics and behaviours are shifting. These groups are seeking more sustainable options, enhanced lifestyle and comfort, alongside the space to productively work from home—serviced accommodations can provide all of this, and travel managers are shifting their product choice to support and retain talent.

Q: Which Indian cities are seeing the biggest influx of business travellers currently?

Masood: Several Indian cities serve as major hubs for business travellers. When people think of business travel in India, we might think of traditional hubs such as Mumbai and Delhi, but the corporate travel hubs we really want to watch in 2024 are Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune.

I’d put this down to three major reasons:

1. The growth of the IT sector

Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune are renowned for their position as prominent IT hubs. These cities have witnessed a surge of investment into IT parks. Global technology giants have established a strong presence here and there is a thriving startup culture as a result of strong economic development

2. Junior talent and recruitment

As emerging industries from IT to research to pharmaceuticals and automotives continue to grow, with this will come an influx of junior talent seeking to kick start their careers. Oftentimes, interns are offered training roles which sometimes require them to travel across the country driving an uptick in the adoption of co-living accommodation types—mainly because they are a great option to keep costs down, while at the same time creating a comfortable and engaging environment for gen z travellers.

3. Climate and culture

On top of the vast array of investment and career opportunities these cities offer, Hyderabad, Pune and Bengaluru also offer its travellers a very pleasant climate. This enhanced quality of life, combined with India’s rich cultural heritage, has created the perfect storm for attracting talent looking to expand their long-term horizons.

Q: Hyderabad took the lead as the most travelled business city in India for 2023. Tell us more!

Masood: This comes as no surprise—Hyderabad is truly on its progressive path to becoming one of the world’s most prominent commercial hubs. To put this growth into perspective, occupancy across Hyderabad has mounted to 73% from 51% in the last year alone. It's one of India’s leading IT hubs and is attracting significant investment from technology companies, software development firms and IT service providers. The city is also a major centre for pharmaceutical and global financial industries.

Hyderabad’s strategic location, modern transportation networks and thriving hospitality sector caters well to the diverse requirements of business travellers, ensuring a safe, seamless and productive experience during their corporate travel trip. This investment is only set to flourish as Hyderabad continues to thrive as a key global travel player.

Q: What are the most popular types of serviced accommodations across India?

Masood: India is an interesting one because there is quite a significant gap between budget brands and luxurious brands—there are very little “middle of the range options”.  As the industry matures however, we should expect to see the gap between luxury and budget options narrow as investment into middle-of-the-range options grows.

We see most international travellers seek out serviced apartments or boutique hotels which offer premium hotel suite or apartment types set within a popular global hotel or apartment brand.  They offer excellent on-site facilities such as restaurants, gyms, swimming pools and laundry, alongside exemplary safety measures such as 24-hour CCTV, security guards, secure entry and well-lit areas.

Co-living is really gaining momentum here. This option might look something like a 3-bedroom (BHK) apartment share with shared communal spaces like kitchen and laundry, or guests might have their own small hotel-like room which has access to shared communal spaces. This is a popular choice for travel buyers looking to keep costs down while ensuring travellers enjoy an engaging, comfortable and collaborative experience.

Q: What’s important to travel buyers when choosing accommodations in India?

Masood: Location and distance to office is King in India. Traffic congestion is still a challenge for commuters across the country, and both international and Indian companies are looking to ensure their travellers enjoy a simple, stress-free and efficient commute to the office. In cases where companies have adopted hybrid working, travellers are opting for locations which are close to malls, supermarkets, health facilities and so on.

Cost remains a prominent element within the decision-making process, particularly amongst domestic Indian companies. I expect to see continued investment into budget conscious brands, particularly as the global price index increases and budgets are squeezed.

Finally, duty of care is a prevailing factor for buyers, as they seek to ensure the security and safety of travellers remain intact. There is a perception, especially amongst international travellers, that India isn’t safe and so many travellers and travel managers will feel much more comfortable opting for accommodations within popular hotel chains who have access to first-class security features.

Q: What should we anticipate in terms of accommodation availability for the rest of 2024?

Masood: Demand for serviced accommodation is increasing across major cities such as Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Gurgaon, Pune and Chennai. While this has resulted in a slight increase in rates, we are seeing this balanced out as continuous new streams of supply enter the market. This is mainly a result of investment into the Indian economy from local property developers, the globalisation of prominent hospitality brands and of course, the emergence of new, alternative accommodation providers.

Travel organisers should be especially aware of periods where intern volumes are high such as May-August and December. Planning, proactivity and booking accommodations in advance will be key to avoid paying severely inflated prices in the long-term.

How Synergy Can Help

At Synergy, we specialise in managing the end-to-end management of serviced accommodation programmes, wherever our clients need us to be across India, and for however long.

Our goal is simple: to make it easy for you to achieve your business travel and mobility objectives across India without any compromise on guest experience. More specifically, Synergy can provide:

  • Consultative, end-to-end programme management which targets your specific corporate travel and overall organisational objectives in India
  • Local reservations, guest services, finance, sales and supply chain management experts to supportyou and your business travellers from start to finish
  • Potential tax savings associated with your programme via Synergy’s tax registration across Telengana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Naryana
  • Access to an extensive network of fully vetted apartments across India including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and Gurugram.
  • Access to high touch service teams who will go above and beyond to deliver your objectives
  • Innovative and flexible accommodation management solutions to meet the ever-evolving requirements of the modern day business traveller

Ready to learn more about how Synergy can help you build or enhance your existing accommodation programme in India? Tell us what you need and our local teams will be happy to support you.

What to Know When Selecting Your Corporate Accommodation Partner

What to Know When Selecting Your Corporate Accommodation Partner

In the context of business travel, “Corporate Housing” generally means short-term or extended stay rentals usually geared towards those traveling for business. The length of stay can vary on a number of different factors but is usually 30 days to a year.

The options available can vary widely, and the providers offering service under this banner come in many different shapes and sizes. In most cases, the traveler will be in a furnished apartment, but they can also stay in a home or extended-stay hotel. So, how do you pinpoint what your needs are and how can you be sure you have aligned with the right partner for the job?

Simplifying the Layers

First, we need to understand the structure. The market for corporate housing has a number of layers which we explain here:

The Operator

Operators own or lease properties directly. They’re responsible for managing their own fully furnished properties. They often refer to their stock of properties as Inventory.

Leasing Office

The Agent

While an Operator may own and manage a portfolio of apartments and take bookings for these properties directly, an Agent will work with a number of Operators in their region. The apartments will still be owned and managed by the Operators, but sourced and booked by the Agent.

The Global Provider

The limitations of a Regional Agent may simply boil down to size and the number of Operators they have access to. If a need arises for a property outside of their network or area of coverage, the Agent will have to invest time to research and perform due diligence in order to find a new operator that fulfills the ask. A Global Corporate Housing Partner could be the solution.

Global Corporate Housing Providers have access to vetted, trusted suppliers across the globe. They can work directly with Operators in much the same way as a Regional Agent can but with a much larger network, and access to technology platforms to make a seamless, end-to-end process.

Comparing Apples to Apples

If you’re assessing the cost of booking one apartment directly with an Operator or booking the same apartment through an Agent, you might see a difference. With layering in the market comes layering in pricing. But if you’re looking for value, rather than solely unit price, you also need to know what value those layers bring, and if it’s right for you.

Working with an Operator

Buying direct from an operator may have the fewest layers so you’re likely to see a competitive price. But, your choice is limited to that operator’s properties, they are less likely to sign short-term leases and they’re often smaller businesses and sometimes individual landlords.

If your population only needs to be in one area, and the Operator’s availability is likely to meet your needs, perhaps a direct relationship might be beneficial, especially if the price and service are in line with your expectations, and you’re comfortable working directly with a smaller operation.

Working with an Agent

Two people working with an agent

An Agent may be able to provide more choice in location, perhaps more availability. They may be able to offer more competitive pricing in the area through comparison. They may also provide you with support in problem-solving, should something go wrong.

If there are issues they can’t resolve within their network, they may be able to expand their offering to provide more options, but this can take time, and the costs may vary. This also needs to be a factor in your comparison.

Working with a Global Service Provider

A Global Service Provider will be able to leverage your business alongside that of its other clients, meaning an Operator or a local agent might offer a more competitive price to the Global Service Provider than direct to you.

Expansion is no problem for a Global Provider either—their networks are vast, which brings with it local knowledge and global reach. Often superior technology platforms will allow a much faster process for finding what you need and solving issues as they come up. It also brings security, vetting local suppliers so you know how your data is handled and where your money is going.

Contingencies are important too.

What if your operator doesn’t have availability when you need it? In some cases, “turnkey” arrangements are made. Here, you’ll take out a longer lease than one of your employees needs, and when they move out, the property is cleaned and serviced, ready for the next team member to move in.

Alternatively, on a larger scale, you can “block book” multiple apartments on a longer-term basis which are then secured exclusively for your population to use. There are of course costs and risks involved with these contingencies that you need to factor into your decision.

Options for Varied Populations

Consider the unique makeup of your business travelers and relocating employees when you consider how to manage your corporate housing program. Perhaps you have a population of business travelers on short-term assignments in locations where housing or safety can be a challenge or a team rotational program that cycles through two or three locations where you need to have availability readily on hand.

For your business travelers, you need consistency. Where they stay needs to be convenient for your office, safe and reliable. You need a provider who can guarantee that every time.

Your short-term assignments may be similar, but you need someone with a particular strength in that area.

Your rotation programs might have the additional need of a larger availability. This needs to be a factor in choosing a partner to service this group. Can they manage block bookings? Do they have experience with intern programs or technology you can leverage?

Final Thoughts

When you’ve examined the supplier types that may best fit your needs, you might discover that your ideal solution is a selection of different providers, maybe a “Multi-Model” approach, or a single one that can meet all of your needs. Don’t forget to think about your resources though. Do you have the capacity to manage multiple suppliers for each of your programs, or do you need one solution? Do you have multiple stakeholders who need to be involved with these relationships, or does all of it need to come through you?

Finally, make sure you’re asking your potential suppliers for their solutions to your specific needs. Find out what makes them special. Use their experience, listen to their ideas and stay open to innovation.

This article has been written in collaboration with relocation management specialists. Synergy, both an Operator and Global Agent, believes each of our clients deserves individual solutions to their unique needs. We pride ourselves on delivering best-in-class, end-to-end accommodation solutions from strategic, on-the-ground partnerships to superior customer service and cutting-edge technology.

Ready to learn more about how Synergy can enhance your accommodation program? Tell us what you need and our local teams will be happy to support you.  

Enhance Your Group Traveller Experiences with These 5 Things  

In the complex realm of corporate travel, guest experience can have a critical impact on shaping the positive outcomes derived from business travels. Facilitating a seamless and comfortable accommodation experience therefore plays a pivotal role in ensuring the sustained happiness and productivity of travellers. 

When it comes to group accommodation management, there are a range of factors to consider throughout the end-to-end process if you want to see a valuable return on your project. The challenges associated with catering to traveller preferences, last-minute changes and the securing of accommodation for groups during busy periods require a delicate balance of communication, flexibility and strategic forward planning. With this in mind, you may find it useful to partner with a serviced accommodation management company who specialises in group projects to support your strategy.  

In this blog, we’ll dive into the nuances associated with group accommodation management you’ll need to consider, exploring the common hurdles faced by corporate bookers and uncovering 5 strategies to consider for enhancing guest experience.  

1. Prioritise personalisation 

It’s critical to remember that business travellers do not come with the same set of expectations or interests. That’s why catering to the unique traveller preferences within your group can have a game-changing impact on overall guest experience.  

Two men chatting in a co-living space.

Gone are the days where companies would use simple demographics to determine accommodation recommendations—the successful group accommodation programme today dives into the behavioural and psychographic elements that make a guest tick. Is the traveller an avid Yogi? A social butterfly? A sustainability champion? Taking this approach will ensure chosen accommodation options will align with the specific needs and comfort levels of each guest, promoting a comfortable and therefore productive trip.  

Synergy recommends: 

Your consideration here should be choice. During your search, look for an accommodation provider who can provide a wide-range of options— from co-living to wheelchair friendly serviced apartments, to sustainable hotels and lifestyle aparthotels. Or better yet, choose a provider who can deep dive into your guest preferences on your behalf and recommend suitable options which align with your goals. A co-living option for a group of interns—where team building, and culture creation should be prioritised— may not be suitable for a group of executives with a jam-packed agenda for example.  

2. Ensure guest experience remains consistent overall 

Picture this: you’re on a group trip in Mumbai with some co-workers—you’re placed in a deluxe hotel room, but one of your colleagues is placed in the penthouse suite. Naturally, you may feel a little hard done by and possibly even undervalued by your employer. As a travel manager, this is a situation you want to avert before it happens.  

The guest experieince in corporate housing

By promoting a sense of equity within the group trip, you will eliminate potential disparities in guest experience, which will set the scene for a positive and cohesive team environment.  

Moreover, consistency in guest experience also simplifies the booking, reporting and optimisation of the group travel programme, making it easier for the buyer company to demonstrate its success to internal stakeholders.  

Synergy recommends: 

To get this right, you’ll need to be proactive. Achieving a consistent guest experience will require much planning ahead to pre-book accommodations and ensure the availability of preferable options for the entire group trip. If you leave things to the last minute, it’s likely you could be left with scarce accommodation options, sky high prices and the risk of individuals having to stay at different locations—which will impact on team building and collaboration.  

Engaging a consultative accommodation manager who knows the market well, can anticipate dips in supply and provide tailored recommendations, will help guide you in securing serviced accommodations in good time. The result is your guests will experience a consistent product that has been vetted and offers a safe place to stay.  

3. Seek flexibility and speed  

The importance of flexibility and speed in group accommodation management cannot be overstated as changing schedules and unforeseen circumstances come into play. 

Co-Living: The Newest Trend in Serviced Accommodations

Between travel delays, changes in personal circumstances, project delays (and most recently the outbreak of war and a global pandemic) it’s paramount to be able to pivot—and fast.  

Synergy recommends: 

Here, you’ll want to focus on agility. Look to work with an accommodation provider who has resources in each of your key locations, and can address any last minute requirements to your corporate travel programme without delay.  

In group accommodation management, you may find it useful to engage an accommodation management company, like Synergy, who can provide a dedicated single point of contact for managing any queries relating to group travel. These types of companies will streamline processes and speed up communication in both usual and crisis management situations, enabling swift solutions in the face of unforeseen circumstances.  

4. Don’t underestimate the importance of pre- and post- check-in care 

Incorporating wellness checks both pre- and post- guest check-in is fundamental to any successful group accommodation programme. By touching base with your travellers regularly, you’ll be able to head off any challenges they might face at the onset of their stay, thus reducing any distractions disrupting the achievement of travel objectives.   

Checking in to your corporate apartment

Beyond this, there is so much more that can be done to enhance the guest experience from the very beginning. Incorporating elements such as 24/7/365 guest support, for example, will support group traveller experiences by ensuring guests feel confident they’re looked after at all times. The use of cultural support such as welcome events, educational city guides and inspirational destination videos can help familiarise teams with their new surroundings, and even create an element of excitement for the trip ahead.  

Synergy recommends: 

Your focus here should therefore be about leveraging a partner who has local knowledge and presence in the location you are sending your group. Look to work with a group accommodation management provider who knows your key location like the back of their hand and can provide an unforgettable welcome experience. 

You should also seek an accommodation provider who requires property partners and housekeeping teams to conduct vigilant apartment vetting. For example, at Synergy we require our supplier partners to conduct stringent health, safety and security checklists in order to keep guests safe and catch any service challenges before they happen.  

5. Promote ease with flexible payment methods 

When dealing with multiple business travellers, it’s likely multiple payment options will be required to simplify business travel processes and satisfy unique traveller preferences. For example, corporate clients may prefer the flexibility to opt for consolidated billing, while on the other hand, the business traveller themselves might prefer the convenience of credit card payments.   

Synergy recommends: 

To get this right, you should seek convenience and inclusivity. While this may sound simple, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to get it wrong. The key is to work with a provider who can make it easy for your groups to book using their preferred payment method. 

Don’t forget to consider the demographics of your travelling groups. A group of interns likely won’t have a corporate credit card and may prefer the invoice route, whereas senior managers may prefer to use a credit card. The availability of multiple payment methods not only enhances and simplifies user experience, but also expands the accessibility of accommodations to a broader range of travellers, promoting inclusivity and convenience.  

How Synergy Can Help 

At Synergy, we specialise in the end-to-end management of group serviced accommodation programmes wherever our clients need us to be, and for however long. Last year, Synergy: 

  • Welcomed over 6,000 group guests 
  • Booked 500,000 group room nights  
  • Achieved 98% guest satisfaction 

Our goal is to collaborate with you to understand your group business travel, mobility or HR objectives and tailor our award-winning services to your overarching organisational goals.  

Simplify your group accommodation programme through Synergy via:  

  • Access to over 165,000 fully vetted serviced apartments, spanning 85+ countries and 2,000 cities  
  • Best available market rates 
  • Access to a dedicated single point of contact, specialising in groups 
  • Flexible terms 
  • Multiple payment options 
  • Wellness add- ons  

Ready to learn more about how Synergy can enhance your accommodation programme? Tell us what you need and our local teams will be happy to support you.  

Travel Buyer Insight: Trends and Challenges Affecting Corporate Housing

Perspectives from Synergy’s Global Supply Chain Team

In the ever-evolving landscape of providing furnished housing for corporate travel and mobility, accommodation providers find themselves navigating a sea of challenges. From disruptive technology to government regulation to evolving guest preferences and the tightening of travel budgets, there’s a lot happening in the sector. Here, we cover some of the most impactful occurrences that affect the delivery of successful corporate stay programs.

Focus on Sustainability Remains a Critical Topic

It’s safe to say that accommodation choices are no longer just about cost efficiency, convenience and comfort. Our choices now represent something bigger, something deeper, something generational.

Sustainability is that all-important factor that unites the industry. Initiatives such as the ASAP Green Team, CHPA’s sustainability task force, and Worldwide ERC’s Sustainability Committee underscore the sector’s dedication to eco-friendly practices and collaborative efforts.

Sustainable Corporate Housing

The below discusses some industry bright spots and a few of the adaptive strategies Synergy has taken to confront its most pressing challenges. 

Commitment, Education & Awareness: The Road Forward for Sustainable Business Travel

Corporate housing and the broader business travel ecosystem are experiencing a paradigm shift with sustainability at the forefront.

Alongside the Biden Administration’s recent announcement to accelerate America’s clean transportation future, the GBTA Foundation committed to releasing global Sustainable Procurement Criteria by the end of 2024.

As noted in the release, “the GBTA Criteria will help pave the way to standardize responsible practices in the business travel industry and provide corporate travel managers with a harmonized approach for requesting information on suppliers’ sustainability practices.”

Delphine Millot, Managing Director of the GBTA Foundation and Senior Vice President for Sustainability and Advocacy at GBTA, noted how GBTA’s inclusion in the high-profile event highlights the relevance of business travel amongst broader national sustainability themes.

Education and awareness are the logical next steps as the industry moves forward with pledges and commitments. 

Synergy is successfully bridging this gap with its innovative Green Leaf program. Currently being trialed with specific properties in the EMEA region, the Green Leaf program serves as a platform to capture, report and celebrate supplier ESG efforts. Questionnaire results are showcased on property profiles using a tiered 3 leaf visual indicating that property’s “green” status within Synergy’s sustainability criteria. This easy and intuitive feature empowers clients and travelers to make well-informed decisions aligning with their environmental values.

The Rise of Co-living Accommodations

Another trend reshaping corporate accommodation is the rise of co-living properties. Co-living blends the traditional hotel experience with elements of co-working and co-living spaces. We see this as a popular option for travelers of all ages as “holistic travel experiences” become increasingly popular due to the isolation of remote work and the continued momentum of “bleisure” travel. Co-living accommodation offers an affordable, option-rich, community-oriented stay.

Co-living options in Corporate Housing.

Synergy’s parent organization, The Ascott Limited, recent announced eight new signings for its co-living brand, lyf, highlighting this trend. As noted in the release, “growing demand for experience-led social living has broadened into a multifaceted hospitality experience ranging from co-living accommodation and city hotels to full-service resorts.” 

We’re excited to be a part of this evolution in accommodation and are honored to have priority access to this exciting new stay experience.

Increasing Rates, Stretched Budgets & Tight Apartment Supply

The demand for quality accommodations continues, but companies are feeling the pressure to focus on cost-saving strategies. This leaves travel and mobility managers, as well as serviced apartment providers, in a precarious position — the need to secure quality yet affordable accommodations.

Synergy has successfully navigated this headwind through our long-term supplier relationships and global buying power. One such effort is Synergy’s acquisition of Primestone Housing. which adds depth and quality to our existing U.S. multi-family property relationships — relationships developed over decades. This depth of partnership and resources fosters long-term lease agreements, essential to our ability to lock in rents and keep our accommodation costs low. Another cost saving measure that Synergy utilizes is securing alternative accommodation offerings better able to support clients with lower budgets.

AI: Friend or Foe?

Have you heard enough about AI yet? Well, while it was the all-important buzzword of 2023, we expect AI and other technological advancements to begin distilling into tangible benefits for the guest and client experience in 2024. From faster bookings to seamless, contactless check-ins to better spend reporting and analysis, we see AI through the lens of enhancement, not replacement.

As noted in this recent report from WERC & Deloitte, (Generative) AI can be bucketed into three use-case categories: Enhancing the experience, reducing administrative burdens and elevating strategic contributions. 

Synergy believes in embracing technology’s power to the benefit of clients and partners such as the industry’s first apartment inspection app, SynergySMART, a tool that ensures every Synergy guest always moves into a clean apartment. Or, the soon-to-be-released client portal, offering live availability and booking options, as well as on-demand reporting.

Two-way guest communications, feedback and ease of check-in are areas where Synergy is actively looking to implement AI solutions to improve the guest experience and return additional value back to its clients.

Short-Term Rental Regulations

Short-term rental laws, building caps and the reduction of risk by furnished apartment suppliers have also created a complex web of challenges. Navigating these legal intricacies while maintaining a diverse accommodation inventory requires education, advocacy and partnership.

Synergy Housing Corporate Apartment

At Synergy, we’ve always believed in the value of serviced accommodation as a product and service set. Backed by this belief, we are actively engaged with industry groups, associations and partners to provide industry knowledge and expertise to local government officials. Our goal is to ensure that the laws and regulations are shaped and implemented in a way that enhances, rather than diminishes, the overall value of our industry.

The Path Forward

In the complex and ever-shifting landscape of corporate accommodations, the interplay of trends, sustainability initiatives and challenges reveals a narrative of adaptation and innovation. And, despite the challenges present, the path forward is clear and one the corporate housing industry has seen multiple times before. In conjunction with our partners, industry associations and travel buyers, we are joined in our united quest for sustainable accommodations, while helping to address increasing costs and tightening supply. We all look toward the capabilities of new guest-centric technology to increase efficiency, safety and experience across each touchpoint of the guest journey. And as an industry, it is on us to unite, educate and advocate for the distinctive value serviced accommodations bring to support industry, jobs, commerce and opportunity.

Top 10 Corporate Travel Trends for 2024

The landscape of corporate travel is on the brink of significant transformation, propelled by a multitude of trends reshaping the way businesses navigate and manage their travel programs. Recently at the NY GBTA Education Day Will Tate, consultant at GoldSpring Consulting, shed light on the top 10 trends that are set to redefine corporate travel in 2024 and beyond. We highlight them here.

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence emerges as a beacon of change within corporate travel, despite being in its infancy. Highlighted were the hurdles of labeling, tokenization, and transparency, posing challenges to AI's full potential. Even so, the applications of AI are extremely promising.

  • Expense Reporting: AI’s analytical capabilities can streamline expense report analysis, potentially reducing errors and expediting approval processes.
  • Enhancing Airport Operations: AI has the potential to revolutionize airport experiences by expediting customs, guiding passengers efficiently, and enhancing overall airport operations.
  • Meeting Enhancements: AI can facilitate personalized room setups, catering arrangements, and overall meeting efficiency.
  • Transformation of Online Booking Tools: The potential disruption of traditional online booking tools looms as AI steps in to automate and optimize the travel booking process.

2. Ubiquitous Profiles

The emergence of ubiquitous profiles heralds a new era of travel efficiency and unparalleled personalization. These profiles facilitate smoother travel arrangements by utilizing up-to-date information. They are able to streamline interactions between travelers and suppliers, ensuring seamless transactions and engagements for enhanced efficiency. Moreover, ubiquitous profiles elevate the travel journey by tailoring experiences by supplier and by trip, offering more personalized recommendations and enhancing the overall booking and travel experience.

3. Sustainability

EV Charging

Navigating the complexities of sustainability within corporate travel presents both challenges and innovative solutions. These days a growing number of travelers are opting for sustainable travel choices, which highlights the growing importance of sustainability in corporate travel and its influence on decision-making. The challenges faced by corporate travel managers and suppliers alike are the lack of consistent measurement standards and varied approaches to implementation.

4. NDC Remains Off-channel

NDC, or New Distribution Capabilities, offers buyers a more consumer-friendly air travel booking experience that is less costly than the GDS. NDC’s are here to stay was the consensus by a panel of experts at NY GBTA, but they additional pointed out that corporate travel buyers are moving slowly to adopt as they look for solutions that are proven and scalable at larger organizations.

5. Enhancing the Traveler Experience

The traveler experience remains vital and with travel rebounding to 70-80% of 2029 levels, a significant mindset shift in how we prioritize travel is underway. Buyers need to ensure trust in the travel industry while innovating to create stickiness and enhance the overall travel experience. At the same time, companies are looking at policy adaptations which could include not reimbursing certain types of travel or shifting to per diems to manage costs effectively. It will be interesting to see how these two competing priorities play out over the course of the year to provide an enhanced traveler experience, while still cutting costs.

6. Personalization Continues to Dominate

Park Place Apartments

The challenges and triumphs of personalization remain a focal point in corporate travel. Suppliers have had an ongoing challenge identifying the customer—whether it is a corporate or an individual. This particularly comes into play when pricing for air or hotel is based on a call and response, making it hard to discern the traveler's identity. In addition, there are more applications geared toward individual travelers, resulting in a better user experience for them. In 2024 we look to solutions and applications that will enhance personalization for corporates, raising the bar on traveler experience.

7. Labor Challenges: Acquiring and Retaining Talent

In the face of rising labor costs, companies are grappling with attracting and retaining talent. While technology like AI Chat resolves simpler problems, the demand for skilled labor remains crucial for handling complex issues. Challenges with staffing for airline pilots, travel companies (TMC’s) and hotels are pervasive and will continue for the next year or so.

8. Rise of Integrated Solutions

Integrated technology solutions are gaining prominence, offering comprehensive packages that encompass various components such as TMCs, booking tools, etc. These solutions are particularly appealing to smaller companies due to their simplicity and ease of implementation. The question is, are they good at all components of travel management?

9. Blockchain: A Disruptive Force

Blockchain technology in corporate housing.

Despite minimal adoption, blockchain’s benefits are undeniable. Essentially, it unlocks information that was private and removes the middleman who was charging fees to allow access. There are many applications for its use, including disintermediating GDS fees by directly integrating with the carrier, eliminating credit card fees since airlines and hotels can be paid directly, and overall improving the travel booking experience removing the need for expense reports.

10. Integration of Meeting and Transient Travel

Sourcing meetings and travel together can provide better spend insights and visibility, as well as support an enhanced duty of care. At present there are challenges to booking these two components together as the bookers are typically siloed and neither the TMC nor meeting planner are solely responsible.

Summary: Navigating the Future of Corporate Travel in 2024

The corporate travel landscape in 2024 stands at the threshold of transformation, propelled by a spectrum of trends. From the promising integration of AI to the evolution of ubiquitous profiles, sustainability initiatives, blockchain’s disruptive potential, traveler-centric approaches, personalization challenges, labor dynamics, integrated solutions, and the convergence of meetings and travel—each trend paints a vivid picture of a landscape undergoing profound change.

Corporate Travel Trends in 2024

These travel trends collectively redefine how businesses perceive and harness travel as an essential strategic component, promising efficiency, personalization, cost optimization, and a renewed focus on traveler experiences. The amalgamation of technology, sustainability, and strategic innovations forms the cornerstone of this new era, paving the way for a travel landscape that prioritizes both functionality and the human touch. As we navigate these trends, their impact promises to shape a future where corporate travel seamlessly aligns with business objectives while ensuring enhanced experiences for all stakeholders involved.

Tech Trends Transforming The Future of The Serviced Apartment Industry

Head of Information Technology at Synergy - Lance Bradwell

Technology is evolving at an unprecedented rate, and leaders within the serviced apartment industry are constantly adapting to stay ahead of the curve. In the recent discussion in webinar “Tech Talk: Serviced Apartments and Extended Stay Evolution” hosted by Serviced Apartment News, key industry players—including Synergy’s Head of Information Technology, Lance Bradwell—shared their insights into the trends shaping their businesses and the challenges they face. Here’s a snapshot of the key takeaways from this fruitful and thought-provoking conversation.

1. Blurring the Lines: short term stay vs. long-term stay

One of the prominent trends highlighted during the webinar was the blurring of lines between short stay and long term stay accommodations. While noting technology has come a long way within our industry creating efficiencies across the end-to-end process, Charlie Delamare, Solutions Architect at Mews, noted the challenge lies in managing both lengths of stays in one system due to the different operational nuances and pricing strategies. Marc Vilar, CEO at Apartool seconded Charlie’s sentiment, noting that technology was lagging behind for long term stays.

2. The Inevitable Adoption of AI

The Inevitable Adoption of AI

With AI progressing at breakneck speed, artificial intelligence was a topic that came up multiple times throughout the discussion. The overarching message between each panellist included AI’s progression at an almost scary speed—and from chatbots to generative AI, the consensus was that artificial intelligence holds the capabilities to re-shape the end-to-end management of serviced accommodation programmes, offering highly personalised experiences based on data-driven insights.

On data and AI, Lance noted the ability to capture up-to-date, relevant information was the key to getting AI right. On the back of that, Charlie also noted the collection of this data has gone way beyond general demographics such as age and gender, but AI can now provide the ability to predict booking trends in temporary housing via more in-depth behavioural data such as the impulsivity of guests.

3. AI’s impact on data security

On the heels of Lance and Charlie’s stance on artificial intelligence, the discussion turned to data security within furnished housing. The panellists agreed that with AI’s requirement for vast amounts of data to be successful, comes a substantial data security risk which needs to be managed carefully. On a more positive note, Lance noted that businesses are only as strong in data security as the individuals using such data—highlighting an opportunity to invest in robust associate training programmes and encryption practices to ensure individuals don’t unknowingly put the security of data at risk.

4. Cloud-Based Transition

Cloud-Based Transition

When questioned by Eloise Hanson, Editor at Serviced Apartment News, on the concept of cloud-based technology and its impact on traditional storage functions, Lance emphasised the transformative impact of adopting such a tool describing it as a “godsend”. Lance did, however, note that while the cloud offers speedy and easy access to information which could streamline temporary housing programmes, he also described it as a double-edged sword in relation to data security concerns. He noted that careful management was required in order to prevent unauthorised access to sensitive client data.

5. Temporary Housing and The Digital Customer Journey

When questioned on the digital customer journey for furnished housing, Andrea Rother, Director of Expansion at limehome shed light on her company’s fully automated approach, citing the importance of driving efficiencies at various points of the customer journey from reservations through to the stay, which in turn will enable organisations to scale quickly and drive costs down for corporates. Touching on customer demographics, Andrea also noted a preference for contactless services in temporary housing, most prominently adopted by younger generations such as Gen Y and Gen Z.

6. Challenges in Flexible Stays

When questioned on the challenges with technology, Charlie highlighted the importance of flexibility for both bookers and guests, noting that technology within our industry has traditionally been built on a short-stay hotel model, making it difficult to service diverse businesses and guest preferences. On the heels of his observation, Charlie brought up the need to create systems which support both serviced apartment operators and agents in a short-stay and long-stay capacity.

Human Touch and Technology

7. Human Touch and Technology

Despite a colourful and insightful conversation about technology, it’s benefits and the speed at which it’s advancing, the team all agreed that the power of human connection was still very important. More specifically, Marc spoke to the importance of the requirement of “24/7 human attention” for when technology doesn’t work as perfectly as we would like. On the other end of the spectrum, Andrea highlighted that in order to stay relevant in today’s world, firms must adopt technology. However, she also agreed on the importance of the requirement for an online/offline approach.

As technology continues to evolve at the speed of light, this particular discussion provided an insightful—and almost scary—look into the technological landscape, its challenges and opportunities in the furnished housing world. The future promises exciting possibilities for those who can harness the power of technology to drive efficiencies and personalisation across the board, all while remembering to keep the human element at the forefront.

NYC Mobility & Corporate Travel Insights 

By Robin Spindel

After Labor Day, the mobility and corporate travel professionals in New York City get back to business, which means attending networking and educational events. I had the privilege of representing Synergy at three of these inciteful events, each providing unique perspectives on the ever-evolving landscape of business travel, global mobility and workforce management.  

From discussions on sustainability to innovative payment solutions and the pressing issues surrounding wellness, engagement, and the Gen Z workforce, these gatherings offered valuable insights on the minds of everyone in our industry. I am excited to share some of the highlights and key takeaways I gathered. 

Sustainability has been high on everyone’s minds, so the first event I’d like to share is the Forum for Expatriate Management (FEM) Chapter Meeting held on September 21st.  

Looking to the Future of Global Mobility: Navigating the Path to a Sustainable Future 

The panel featured three prominent speakers who shared their expertise in sustainability and global mobility: Karen Cygal, Founder of Global IQ (and former CEO of Worldwide ERC); Melissa Myer, who leads Total Rewards Global Mobility at Mastercard; and Irina Spector, MBA, Founder of Common Practice SA. 

A Woman living Comfortably in her new furnished apartment.

Key Takeaways from the Sustainability Discussion 

  1. Three Pillars of Sustainability: Melissa Myer highlighted the three pillars that drive Mastercard's sustainability initiatives: People, Prosperity, and Planet. The company aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, with 100% renewable energy powering all its offices. They are also engaging with suppliers to set carbon emission goals and providing internal scorecards as part of an educational approach. 
  1. Sustainability Standards: Irina Spector mentioned the importance of initiatives like Ecovadis, which provide sustainability ratings (Bronze, Silver, Gold) to companies. She stressed the significance of renewable energy sources like solar and wind, while emphasizing the need to reduce reliance on non-renewable sources such as nuclear and fossil fuels. 
  1. Ecovadis Survey: The Ecovadis survey was a hot topic, with participants emphasizing the value of policy creation, results analysis, and action steps. It was likened to a game of show and tell, where completing the survey becomes easier as sustainability programs mature. 
  1. Tying Compensation to Sustainability Goals: Many companies, including large corporations, are now tying compensation for C-level executives to meeting sustainability goals. The intention is for these goals to filter down to all levels of the organization, emphasizing the importance of sustainability throughout. 
  1. SMART Global Assignments: Karen Cygal highlighted the need for SMART global assignments. This involves analyzing data to make informed decisions, such as using public transportation in cities with efficient systems and providing data to employees to encourage sustainable choices. 
  1. Corporate Housing vs. Hotels: The panel also discussed the environmental benefits of corporate housing over traditional hotels for business travelers. Corporate housing is considered a more sustainable option. 
  1. Transportation and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The panel emphasized the significant role transportation plays in greenhouse gas emissions. It was noted that ships are the most sustainable form of transportation, while air travel is among the least sustainable. 
  1. LEED-Certified Buildings: For sustainable housing, using LEED-certified buildings was recommended. These buildings adhere to environmental standards and promote energy efficiency. 

The Other Side of Travel: Payment and Expense Solutions 

Moving on to the next event, the New York Business Travel Association (NYBTA) Meeting on September 26, focused on payment and expense solutions in travel. I was expecting the content from this event to be dry, but the presenters were able to give real life examples and showcase some exciting trends which held my attention. 

A woman looking at her expense reciepts.

Key Takeaways from Payment and Expense Solutions Panel 

  1. Pain Points in Expense Management: The panel discussed pain points in expense management, including the reconciliation of cards not individually assigned and the convergence of different types of spend on cards. 
  1. Automation and Ease of Submission: A central theme was making it easy for employees to submit expenses and automating the process as much as possible. The use of technology to eliminate the need for expense reports was highlighted. 
  1. AI and Expense Scanning: Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to scan receipts and streamline the expense reporting process, making it more efficient and less prone to errors. 
  1. Pre-approvals and Reminders: Pre-approvals were stressed as crucial to avoiding expense rejections. Email reminders and visual dashboards were recommended to ensure compliance with expense policies. 
  1. Tokenized Virtual Travel Cards: A significant trend discussed was the use of tokenized virtual travel cards. These cards can lock in policies, are suitable for infrequent travelers, and allow for expense reconciliation at the point of issuing the card, eliminating out-of-pocket expenses for employees. 
  1. Quarterly Meetings and Employee Recognition: Quarterly meetings with executive assistants to roll out policies and highlighting policy details in expense tools were suggested. Employee recognition, such as Workday's "The Wall," where employees can post "thank you" notes, was mentioned as a positive practice. 
  1. Virtual Cards for Everyone: The future of expense management seems to be moving toward virtual cards for all employees, reducing the reliance on physical cards. This shift is expected to streamline processes and reduce the time spent on expense reporting. 

Relocation Hot Topic Roundtables: Wellness & Wellbeing, Keeping Remote and Hybrid Workers Engaged, and Gen Z 

The final event I attended over the course of the two weeks was organized by the New York Council of Relocation Professionals (NYCORP). The virtual event on September 12th focused on three crucial topics: wellness and wellbeing, engaging remote and hybrid workers, and addressing the unique needs of Gen Z. 

A woman working remotly at her home.

Key Takeaways from the Roundtable Discussions 

  1. Wellness in the Workplace: Led by Susan Ginsberg, participants discussed the challenges of incorporating wellness into company culture. This includes learning to say "no" to unreasonable requests and shifting the company ethos to prioritize employee wellbeing. 
  1. Generation Z in the Workforce: Gen Z, the youngest generation in the workforce, seeks meaningful work that aligns with their personal values. Flexibility in terms of work hours, location, and role is crucial for attracting and retaining this talent. 
  1. Engaging Remote and Hybrid Workers: Engaging remote and hybrid workers depends on the culture of the company. Suggestions included increasing the frequency of meetings, utilizing technology solutions like Zoom, and offering ways for employees to connect, such as book clubs and newsletters. 
  1. Managing Hybrid and Remote Work: With hybrid and remote work becoming the norm, companies are grappling with how to manage this shift effectively. Communication, technology, and employee recognition were highlighted as key factors in successfully managing remote and hybrid teams. 

Some Final Thoughts 

I always gain so much when I take the time out to attend these valuable meetings, not only to network with industry peers, but also to get a pulse on the hottest topics affecting our business directly and that of our clients. I want to thank the local NY FEM, NYBTA and NYCORP organizations, speakers and volunteers for creating such engaging content.  

These events highlight that sustainability, automation, and employee engagement are central themes in the evolving landscape of work and business travel. As organizations navigate these challenges, they are presented with opportunities to create more sustainable, efficient and inclusive workplaces.  

Navigating Sustainable Corporate Travel with Serviced Apartments 

From the Viewpoint of Synergy’s Global Supply Chain Team 

Is it safe to say that companies are fully committed to sustainable corporate travel? If recent RFPs are any indication, we’d say yes. Global businesses are no longer looking for sustainability mission statements packed with green buzzwords. Nope, they want evidence. And why not? Green business is good business.  

Zooming out, nations and regions worldwide are implementing sustainability policies and regulations to curtail fossil fuel production and carbon emissions. Corporations are following suit and asking more from their partners to help meet the universal need to reduce carbon emissions and achieve waste reduction across all aspects of business.  

Corporations are following suit and asking more from their partners to help meet the universal need to reduce carbon emissions

Industry bodies in the service apartment sector have provided operators and clients with guidance, education and specific roadmaps to help navigate new sustainability standards. The Association of Service Apartment Providers (ASAP), along with the Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA) and the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council (WERC), each formed sustainability committees in the last two years to aid members in navigating current and emerging sustainability requirements. WERC).

At Synergy, we’re in our third year with sustainability partner GreenFeet focused on ecofriendly apartments to support sustainable corporate travel. Through our partnership, we’ve established clear and measurable carbon reduction goals based on Science-Based Target Initiatives (SBTi). With the momentum of our success, we’ve championed green policies across our 5000+ global suppliers, including removing paper and plastics from our operations, reducing food waste and implementing a “Green Leaf” program, which measures the environmental efficacy of our accommodations (including waste management), giving travelers clear visibility to our sustainable accommodation options.  

Learn more about Synergy’s sustainability journey here.  

Looking ahead to 2024, what trends should corporate buyers and business travelers look for from their serviced accommodation provider, especially in the realm of sustainable corporate travel? Furthermore, what global standards must stakeholders be aware of as they adapt their travel management and sustainability programs to better serve today’s environmentally conscious corporate traveler? 

Serviced Apartments Sustainability Trends 

Across the globe, Synergy and our partners are implementing energy efficiency measures to support water conservation, waste reduction, green building design and local sourcing.  

Smart Sensors 

Smart Thermostat for energy conservation

The Internet of Things (IoT), a term popularized by Nest and their smart thermostat, is making its way into the accommodation sector in terms of sensor-based lighting and thermostat controls that shut off appliances when no one is in the room. When coupled with LED lighting and solar generation from rooftop green panels, these lighting and climate sensors help reduce energy waste.  

Water Conservation 

Low-flow faucets and toilets, as well as encouraging guests to reuse towels and linens are standard practices in most hotels and serviced accommodation providers. But rainwater harvesting — how cool is that! One of our partners uses collected rainwater to water their landscape.

Waste Reduction 

Synergy removed nearly half a million sheets of paper on the waste reduction front with the introduction of SynergySMART. Synergy core locations are plastic-free thanks to boxed water, glass water carafes and plastic-free toiletries. Some of our partners have implemented composting programs for organic waste, while others are partnering with local charities to donate left-behind, unused food.  

Boxed water for sustainable waste reduction

We are also seeing many of our partners source locally-produced food and furniture. This practice reduces the transportation carbon footprint while, at the same time, supports the local economy. 

Green Building Design 

Aside from the censors noted above, some future-forward sustainable initiatives are happening in building design as well. Eco-friendly building materials, energy-efficient design, electric car charging stations, and green roof design are a few to be excited about. Notably, a supplier partner based in Australia recently opened a new building with carpet made entirely of recycled materials. The best part is that the materials were cost-neutral and rated compared to standard-use carpets.  

Global Sustainability Regulatory Trends & Updates 

The major buzzword is ESG, which stands for Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance. From the Asia-Pacific to North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, nations and various regions are adapting policies and enacting regulations to curtail greenhouse gas emissions. Here’s a quick look at some of the green regulatory trends to watch.  

APAC 

There’s a big push to reduce energy consumption and curtail air and water pollution across the Asia Pacific. On the social front, businesses are expected to pay fair wages and participate in diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. Further, board composition requirements now look to include diversity as part of its structure. 

North America 

Canada is committed to advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a 15-year plan that includes initiatives to provide affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. 

Solar panels in a field

Through the Federal Sustainability Plan, the US Federal Government has outlined a bold plan to achieve numerous carbon and pollution benchmarks. Notably, the US will seek to have 100% Carbon Pollution-Free Electricity by 2030, 100% Zero Emissions Vehicle Acquisitions by 2035, and net zero Emissions Operations by 2050. The US is also set to implement similar measures to the recent European Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) noted below.   

Mexico is working towards environmental sustainability through seven core areas of progress, a plan highlighted by a commitment to plant 20 million trees.  

South America (LATAM) 

Costa Rica has made significant strides on the sustainability front. Ninety-eight percent of the country is free of deforestation, which has lowered the country’s carbon footprint significantly. Not to mention, the country generates ~99% of its electricity from renewable sources. 

Like the US, Brazil aims to reach net zero emissions by 2050. And in welcomed global news, they aim to eliminate illegal deforestation by 2028.  

sustainable green parking garage

Europe, Middle East, & Africa 

At the start of the year, the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) was put into action by the European Council (CE). The CSRD mandates large and listed companies operating within the European Union to disclose information on a broader range of sustainability-related topics, including environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors.  

The new mandate will have wide-ranging implications for all companies “with as little as one subsidiary in the EU,” as noted in this Deloitte article.  

2024 Sustainability Expectations 

The serviced accommodation industry is set to embrace a new era of sustainability in 2024, highlighted by data, reporting, and certifications.  

In response to the heightened global awareness of environmental impact, we expect corporate buyers, especially public companies, to ask their serviced accommodation providers to help them meet their Science-Based Targets goals. Similar to how Europe led the way on data privacy with GDPR, we expect the CSRD mandate to be the standard benchmark for other nations and regions moving forward.  

Windmills on a farm.

If that is the case, serviced accommodation providers will have to gather data to back up their sustainability practices. In line with that, we expect green certifications, like ISO 14001, to take center stage and help buyers better understand which serviced accommodation providers are fully committed to sustainability.  

Coupling those shifts with business travelers’ increasing demand for sustainable accommodation options, we believe we are set for some breakthroughs in smart sensor integration, energy conservation, advanced water conservation methods, local sourcing and waste reduction. 

Synergy is proud to be at the forefront of an industry making sustainable corporate travel good business.  

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