The Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) is planning to double its membership to 180 operators and agents during the next two years.
James Foice, managing director of ASAP, said the organisation has ambitious plans to raise the profile, with the government and the media, of what is set to become a £500m industry. The association currently represents 74 operators, six agents and 25 partners.
"Our membership has grown by 35% in the past two years alone and serviced apartments represent 12% of the accommodation offering in London alone with a prediction that it will reach 14% in 2015," he said. "Our role is to make sure our members can operate in a market environment that allows them to grow and prosper."
One of the key issues facing operators of serviced apartments is the government's current plans to de-regulate short-term accommodation in London.
"While we will be urging government to press ahead with deregulation, we must make sure there are sufficient checks and balances to protect customers. The consequences of deregulation also need to be properly understood by political and industry stakeholders," added Foice.
Foice said he hoped to be able to attract new members and deliver value for money with the offer of the ASAP's new quality assessment programme, with all operators achieving full compliance.
"In a de-regulated short-term letting marketplace, accreditation is essential. Customers need to know that when they book with an ASAP member, their accommodation meets expectations but delivers those expectations safely and legally.
"If we can boost our overall representation to 180 fully accredited members operating 30,000 apartments, that will be a compelling proposition for corporates and individuals seeking an alternative to traditional hotel-style accommodation."
Foice said he also planned to target international operators, many of whom are exploring the investment potential of the UK market.
"ASAP has an important role to play in attracting inward investment into serviced apartments, and we'd like to sign up 20 international operators as members by the end of 2016."