PREMIER Inn, the UK’s largest budget hotel chain with over 630 properties and 49,000 rooms, launched its inaugural Asia-Pacific hub in Singapore on July 4 as part of plans to expand its regional presence beyond India (TTG Asia e-daily, March 15, 2012).
The Singapore office will be helmed by the company’s senior vice president development, Asia-Pacific, Erik van Keulen.
“Premier Inn recognised the great potential for growth in the budget hotel industry in Asia, and we felt the time was right to build on our other international operations and grow the business in the region,” said van Keulen.
“Singapore was selected owing to its prime location, which serves as the perfect gateway to South-east Asia and the (rest of Asia-Pacific),” he explained.
Van Keulen told TTG Asia e-Daily that Premier Inn was looking to bolster its presence in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. Properties in these locations would initially be situated in city centres, resort areas and near airports, “in keeping with the region’s travel patterns and key destinations”, he said.
A subsidiary of the UK-based hospitality conglomerate Whitbread, Premier Inn intends to grow its Asia-Pacific portfolio through a ‘capital right’ model, which will see the chain working closely with owners and developers to manage their hotels under the brand, instead of the owner-operator model adopted in the UK, said van Keulen.