Budget hotel chain Premier Inn has launched a mobile application to take advantage of last-minute bookings. According to Premier Inn head of marketing Steve Conway, the app is already taking 47 per cent of the company's same-day bookings over iPhones alone. He told CIO that the initiative to create a mobile booking app was driven by the company's website, which underwent a multimillion pound revamp last November, receiving over 200,000 hits a month over mobiles.
He accepted most of the company's customers book their rooms on a desktop device a couple of days in advance of time of stay. But the app, which was created by Fujitsu and Grapple Mobile, takes advantage of the segment of customers that need to make bookings at very short notice.
He said: "These are more likely to be business customers, which are a premium revenue stream for us."
Leisure customers are encouraged to book accommodation more than 21 days in advance through a discount rate, which makes them more likely to book over a desktop device.
The app has a transactional element, in that customers have to provide credit card details to make a booking, but Conway said there were plans to enable customers to pre-pay for rooms in the future.
Premier Inn is a subsidiary of Whitbread, which also runs the Beefeater, Table Table, Brewers Fayre, Taybarns and Costa Coffee brands. However Conway said each of the businesses have distinct online strategies and the Premier Inn mobile app would not be used by the other brands.