New B2B booking platform helps Premier Inn maintain direct bookings

New B2B booking platform helps Premier Inn maintain direct bookings

Premier Inn sales rose by 9.2% over the spring with the help of a new direct business-to-business booking system.

The new platform helped maintain direct bookings to the UK’s largest budget hotel chain at 94% of sales.

The figures came today in a trading statement for the 13 weeks to June 1 by owner Whitbread, which has added around 9,000 rooms to Premier Inn over the last two years.

Whitbread chief executive Alison Brittain said: “Premier Inn continued to win overall market share with strong sales growth of 9.2% as we benefitted from a resilient hotel market and the contribution from the 9,000 rooms we opened over the last two years, which are maturing well.

“Our digital development team continued to innovate for our customers and we launched our personalised business to business booking platform that helped to maintain our direct bookings at 94% of sales.

“We were pleased that total UK occupancy was up compared to the first quarter last year at 79.2%, at the same time as we increased our capacity.”

She indicated further expansion of the Premier Inn brand internationally with a property in Frankfurt “performing well” and a further five hotels in the pipeline.

The company also completed the sale and leaseback of a 247-room hotel in Shoreditch, London, for £51 million.

“We expect proceeds of around £100-150 million from sale and leaseback transactions this year,” added Brttain.

The business remains on track to open a further 4,200 hotel rooms in addition to as many as 250 Costa coffee shops.

This is part of plans to increase the number of Premier Inn rooms in the UK to around 85,000 by 2020.

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