The UK serviced apartment sector is set to double over the next two years, according to a report.
The sector currently has a market share of 3.1 per cent of all hospitality sectors (19,000 units), and both national and regional UK operators are on track to increase the number of units by 122.3 per cent and 82.2 per cent respectively.
The report, published by the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) and Savills said there is "concrete evidence" that Airbnb has helped raise the profile of alternative accommodation.
James Foice, ASAP managing director, said: "This is the breakthrough moment for the UK serviced apartment sector, a complete game-changer.
"This growth will position the serviced apartment sector as a mainstream accommodation choice, a key player within the hospitality industry as a whole.
"We will have the critical mass of stock to ensure the consumer will have the option of booking a serviced apartment wherever they choose to travel in the UK."
Some of the operators with the most significant new developments in the next two years include: Staycity – on track to treble units from 1,000 to 3,500; Go Native plan to open properties in Manchester, Bristol Newcastle, Glasgow and Reading; and Saco will double in size with six new openings planned in the UK and Ireland.
The study also shows that globally the larger brands will increase by an average of 47.2 per cent by the end of 2018, delivering a total of 112,500 units.
Marie Hickey, Savills associate director, said: "There is clearly the capacity to absorb this projected expansion. Operational performance continues to improve and with overseas business visitor numbers to the UK also reporting an upwards trend, the outlook for underlying demand remains positive."
She added: "The real challenge will be the ability to capitalise on this growing demand through greater concept and brand awareness, however, in light of the stock expansion planned this will naturally improve."
Serviced apartment operator Staycity has confirmed it is to add 843 apartments to its portfolio during 2016, putting the group on target to reach its goal of 3,500 apartments over the next 24 months and 10,000 apartments by 2020.