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Consulting Industry Poised for Growth Through 2013


But Firms Will Still Need to Stretch Travel Dollars

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With the fiscal cliff averted and the presidential election decided, United States businesses and consulting firms have a clearer picture of what lies ahead in 2013 and are cautiously optimistic.

“Averting the cliff will maintain consulting industry growth due to the stability of markets,” says Tom Rodenhauser, managing director of advisory services at Kennedy Information LLC in Peterborough, N.H. In fact, Kennedy Information expects the consulting industry to grow more than four percent to $244 billion by 2015.

All signs are showing that competition in this growing market will remain fierce, with mid-tier consulting firms competing with large, ubiquitous firms that have offices in every city. Consulting travel, which decreased in 2012, could now be poised for resurgence as these firms position consultants temporarily where they’re needed instead of maintaining a myriad of office locations.

In North America, as well as select markets in Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe, steady business growth is expected to drive increases in business travel. “After recovering from the recessionary losses of 2009 in less than two years, the U.S. travel market continues to show remarkable resilience,” says Lorraine Sileo, vice president of research at PhoCusWright, a global travel research firm based in Sherman, Conn.

While travel remains a vital component of the consulting business, firms continue to scrutinize expenses—especially when it comes to travel.

In a 2012 survey of 170 consultants by Consulting magazine, some 37 percent of consultants reported that clients are negotiating travel expense limits, up from 31 percent in 2011 and 21 percent in 2010—pointing to a greater need than ever to find more affordable accommodations for traveling employees.

Also in the survey, some 20 percent of consultants reported that clients are “more aggressively reviewing travel expenses.” Transparency of travel expenses through consolidated billing and streamlined expense management is gaining favor with consulting clients.

For project-based consultants stationed for 30 days or longer, furnished apartments are being viewed more than ever as a leading cost-saver, with all the perks of a hotel, plus amenities that are more like home. ExecuStay® furnished apartments, now part of Oakwood Worldwide®, the world’s leading provider of furnished and serviced corporate apartments and residences, provides a better way to manage extended travel for consulting projects. Companies that select a corporate housing solution for their travelers can realize savings of up to 50 percent vs. typical hotel accommodations.

Spotlight on Expenses

The cost of an extended hotel stay can quickly escalate out of control. When taxes, parking, tips and internet access are added to basic room rates, the bill can easily double. In the Chicago area, for instance, a 30-day hotel stay can exceed $8,300 when you add in all the necessary extras, whereas temporary apartment housing totals about $4,300 and eliminates the need for many of the additional charges associated with a hotel stay.

Meal tabs from restaurants and room service also quickly climb during extended hotel stays. ExecuStay apartments give employees the option to stretch their per diem allowance by buying groceries and preparing meals in their own kitchen. With an ExecuStay apartment, restaurants are a choice, not a necessity.

Comfort Above All

For extended-stay travel of 30 days or more, many travelers said that the apartment atmosphere is more conducive to working than in a hotel, according to a study by the Freed Vance Research Group. ExecuStay apartments include separate living, dining and sleeping areas, a full-size and fully equipped kitchen, and complete furnishings. They are also large enough to hold meetings with co-workers or accommodate visiting friends and family. Travelers have access to free Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, business centers and fitness centers in most locations.

Road warriors also demand that extended stay accommodations be close to dining, shopping and local points of interest. With apartments in more than 300 U.S. cities ready to be booked online, these amenities can be easily found with ExecuStay. What’s more, through the Oakwood Worldwide network, travel experts can locate apartments in hundreds of cities in the U.S. and around the globe. ExecuStay provides 24/7 customer service and end-to-end support care, plus single invoicing and consolidated billing.

Summary

The consulting industry is poised to grow in 2013, but that doesn’t mean travel expenses have to grow with it. ExecuStay apartments can save firms and their clients up to 50 percent on extended stay travel, while providing consultants with amenities that offer greater comfort and increased productivity.

About ExecuStay

ExecuStay, an Oakwood Worldwide brand, is the preferred corporate housing partner of Marriott® International and is the only corporate housing brand where guests can earn Marriott Rewards® points for stays at any ExecuStay location in the U.S.

To learn more about this white paper or how ExecuStay can work with you to provide a temporary housing solution for your team, please call 1-888-340-2521 or visit ExecuStay.com