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Premier Inn app drives more than $1.6M in revenues

The recently launched smartphone application from Whitbread’s Premier Inn has generated more than $1.6 million in total revenue in the three months since its January debut.

Created by app development agency Grapple Mobile in partnership with Fujitsu UK & Ireland, the Premier Inn application has achieved more than a quarter of a million downloads in Britain and Ireland. The app lets customers book, check and manage their hotel accommodations while on the go.

“Premier Inn has a hugely diverse customer base which is why it was important to make the app available on a wide variety of handsets,” said Steve Conway, head of marketing for Premier Inn at Whitbread, London.

“Crucially, the app provides a quick and efficient solution for business travellers, families and individuals looking for last minute, reasonably priced accommodation whilst on the move,” he said. “Grapple Mobile enabled Premier Inn to create an app for multiple platforms, quickly, easily and cost effectively.

“In turn, this app enables Premier Inn to cater to people looking to book rooms whilst on the move and importantly to convert their significant levels of traffic coming from mobile phones into sales.”

Whitbread claims that Premier Inn is the largest budget hotel chain in the British Isles with more than 590 locations across Britain and Ireland.

Grapple’s clients include Microsoft’s XBox, Sony Pictures, T-Mobile and BT, and has partnerships with advertising agencies including Ogilvy and McCann Ericsson.

Premier commerce app
Premier Inn decided to launch the mobile application in an attempt to improve its customers’ experience and expand its mobile commerce initiatives within the travel industry.

Mr. Conway said that Premier Inn was the first budget chain in the hospitality industry to produce an app that is available for all smartphones.

Reaching a quarter of a million downloads shows how much consumers value good booking systems that they can use on the go, per Mr. Conway. He said that Premier Inn always wants to ensure its customers have the best experience when booking and staying at one of its hotels, so letting them book rooms on the go was the next step.

The Premier Inn application is available for Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android, Nokia and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry smartphones, as a free download.

The application features real-time room availability of all 590 Premier Inn hotels, as well as the option to access photographs of every hotel and pinpoint them on a map.

“This is ideal for business travelers who often need to make plans while on the move, and the fact that the app works across all of the key platforms means that it will be accessible to all of our customers,” Mr. Conway said.

Premier Inn will soon launch an updated version of the application based on feedback from guests.

Customers have been invited to download the app via the Premier Inn Web site via a click-through link that automatically detects the user’s handset.

“By making it seamless for customers to download the right app for their phone, the conversion to download has exceeded our expectations,” Mr. Conway said.

Processing bookings equivalent to more than $1.6 million, or 1 million British pounds, in three months is a sign that the Premier Inn application is accomplishing Whitbread’s objectives.

“Premier Inn has been pioneering in their approach to mobile, and this significant milestone proves the huge potential that mobile devices and tablets have to dramatically enhance the hospitality and leisure industry,” said Adam Levene, chief strategy officer of Grapple Mobile, London.

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