Whitbread, Premier Inn’s parent company, is responding to increased demand for Premier Inn bedrooms in island locations across the UK, as it announces two new acquisitions and a pipeline of 600 bedrooms beyond the UK mainland.
The growth of the ‘staycation’ market, and strong year-round business demand, has encouraged Whitbread to build a network of 604 Premier Inn bedrooms in UK island locations.
The new rooms are either under construction, in the secured development pipeline or have recently opened in locations across the Channel Islands, the Isle of Wight and the Scottish islands.
Alex Flach, UK Development Director for Whitbread, said, “The way in which people are using ‘budget’ hotels like Premier Inn is evolving. The staycation market is growing and we are seeing increased demand for Premier Inn hotels in island locations around the UK.
'This growth, alongside year-round demand from business travellers, has given us the confidence to invest and secure six new Premier Inn hotels beyond the UK mainland.”
In the Channel Islands, Whitbread opened its first hotel in in St Helier, Jersey in July 2018.
The popularity of the hotel encouraged Whitbread to commit to a second 122-bedroom Premier Inn at Bath Street in St Helier and invest in its first hotel on the Isle of Guernsey. The 100-bedroom Premier Inn at Admiral Park, Saint Peter Port, was announced by development partner Comprop on 27 June.
Flach continued, “Most UK islands have a below average supply of branded hotel accommodation, so there’s a real opportunity for Premier Inn to bring a different style of accommodation to these places and diversify the hotel offer for visitors.
'As we do so, we are creating new permanent jobs and supporting the island economies by attracting Premier Inn customers to visit. Local businesses also benefit from our presence as many of our guests visit local attractions and eat and drink out when they stay with us.”
As well as the Channel Islands, new Premier Inn hotels are coming to other popular island markets including a third hotel on the Isle of Wight, a 100-bedroom hotel on Shetland and Whitbread’s first hotel in Douglas, the Isle of Man, which opened on 24 June. Whitbread’s property acquisition team are also in discussions to bring Premier Inn to other UK islands.
This is the latest on the new island sites:
Jersey St Helier (Charing Cross) – open
Jersey St Helier (Bath Street) – planning application submitted
Guernsey St Peter’s Port – leasehold secured
Sandown, Isle of White – under construction
Douglas, Isle of Man – open
Lerwick, Shetland – planning application submitted
The six sites are a mix of freehold and leasehold developments, which together will create more than 200 new permanent jobs on opening.
Latest figures from tourism agencies for the UK islands show a consistent growth in tourism numbers. Visit Guernsey reported that overnight leisure visits to the island were up by 22% in the first quarter of 2019 whilst in Jersey, more than 410,000 overnight trips were made to the island in 2018 – the highest number since 2001 – with more than half of the holiday visitors being first time visitors to the island.
Data from the Isle of Man and the Isle of White also show a growth in visitor numbers and spending in 2018, with total visitor spending on the islands increasing by 7% and 9% respectively.