A case study on connecting PREM Hospitality’s serviced apartment portfolio to the GDS via HotelREZ

A case study on connecting PREM Hospitality’s serviced apartment portfolio to the GDS via HotelREZ 1920 1284 HotelREZ

PREM Hospitality turned to HotelREZ to provide connectivity to the GDS agency network, and found the representation company provided even more benefits to their growing serviced accommodation business.

For PREM Hospitality’s head of sales UK, Treda Shotton, the growing market for serviced accommodation presented both an opportunity and challenge.

Optimising the company’s GDS performance was important, but so was supporting her sales team as they looked to gain new business amid a competitive landscape. Thankfully, PREM Hospitality’s long relationship with HotelREZ has helped on both fronts.

Offering a range of hotels and serviced apartments, totalling over 2,500 bedrooms across 32 properties in 24 locations across Ireland, the UK, Belgium and The Netherlands, PREM Hospitality started working with HotelREZ in 2018, utilising their GDS at nine Premier Suites serviced apartment properties (in cities such as Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Liverpool, and Reading) and the Sheffield Leopold Hotel.

Under Shotton, PREM Hospitality’s UK sales team has a focus on improving corporate sales, and HotelREZ has assisted with demand generation activities to the GDS agencies, long-stay and transient RFPs, and a marketing strategy to increase the exposure of the group to the agencies.

“First and foremost, our relationship with HotelREZ is built around the GDS and agency business,” says Shotton. “The GDS platform performs well, but we’ve also found that HotelREZ offers us a wonderful value-add which helps them stand apart from their competitors. They’re frequently in touch with myself and my sales team, providing information and advice.”

Shotton cites webinars (providing an overview of different corporate sectors), and top-level preferred partnerships via HotelREZ with the leading TMCs, consortia and global agencies, as two leading reasons why HotelREZ benefits PREM Hospitality. It has opened PREM to become a player in the global market.

Shotton adds: “Through our relationship with HotelREZ, we have the confidence to try and secure business in an area or from certain companies that we’ve not had the opportunity to approach before.

“So much of sales is getting through the door – we know our product is great and our on-property service is well-regarded, but making the connections is key to sales success. That was our challenge to HotelREZ – get us in the door – and they do a great job of making connections and representing our brand in meetings, as well as educating our team on new opportunities and areas we may need to improve if we want a certain piece of business.”

The evolving guest profile
“Operating both hotels and serviced apartments, we see the difference in how properties operate as well as the guests they attract,” says Shotton.

“Our focus is on longer stay business for our serviced apartments but, like most companies, there has been a shift in the business mix since the pandemic. Corporate travellers and long-stay guests remain our bread-and-butter, but we are increasingly seeing families coming with business travel – either for the full duration or some time at the beginning or end of their stay.

“The term ‘bleisure’ has been talked about for a while now, but as people look to travel less but stay longer, the serviced apartment sector really has an opportunity to capitalise on the trend of mixing business and leisure,” she adds.

The rise of the GDS
“We’ve seen healthy growth in our GDS business,” continues Shotton, a fact backed up by HotelREZ’s wider industry research.

The company – one of the world’s leading hospitality technology and representation companies – recently released a new Independent Accommodation Insights Report, revealing GDS bookings were up 34.5 per cent year-on-year, and 4.2 per cent on 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

The report also cited the GDS as one of the first channels to rebound after the pandemic, demonstrating its value within hospitality and travel, and reflecting the commercial opportunity for accommodation providers.

Daniel Simmons, CCO of HotelREZ, says:

“The GDS drives high value bookings. Bookings from the corporate market which use TMCs and agencies are stronger, largely due to increased emphasis on procurement, CSR and sustainability policies. This results in an increase in usage of the GDS and bookings. The GDS has also attracted the leisure sector with extended stays, luxury agencies and blended travel.”

“For serviced apartments, these factors all represent a great opportunity to grow their business. We know from working with clients such as PREM Hospitality that to succeed not only do you need a great product, but that sales teams need support. Our demand team, headed by Emma Stevenson, assists PREM Hospitality and our other clients by reaching new customers. PREM Hospitality’s experience of using our GDS and tapping into our team’s knowledge shows what a powerful addition to their in-house sales team HotelREZ is.”

Forming an alliance
As PREM Hospitality continues to grow its owned and managed property portfolio, Shotton appreciates the support HotelREZ provides. “We’re in our sixth year of working together,” she says.

“We know them, they know us. They are extremely supportive; we work almost side-by-side. Even though they’re a global company dealing with thousands of properties, the personal service is what sets them apart. Their energy is immense, and their network is a wonderful complement to the experience within our own sales team.”

As the market for serviced apartments increases, accommodation providers need to consider how they use their resources to tap into the growing demand. Forging alliances with companies such as HotelREZ can open a world of opportunities through both technological and human resources. For PREM Hospitality, the alliance continues to support their UK sales team to reach their goals.

About HotelREZ® Hotels & Resorts

HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts, founded in 2004 by Mark Lewis, an experienced hospitality industry professional and entrepreneur, is one of the world’s leading hotel representation companies, dedicated to connecting independent properties with bookers worldwide.

HotelREZ® is a SaaS enabled service company, providing distribution, web services, booking engines, revenue, sales consultancy and marketing services and support over 2,500 independent hotels, apartments and hotel groups in 100 countries, including private label GDS chain code solutions. Customers include StayCity ApartHotels, Dorint Hotels & Resorts, Queensway/Point A Group, Champneys, Exclusive Hotels, Hastings, The Zetter Group, View Hotels Australia, Versace Dubai, and Resident Hotels.

HotelREZ incorporates two hotel consortia: Best Loved Hotels®, a collection of unique global individual properties, with a dedicated GDS programme and website, aimed at high-end leisure travellers and agents, World Rainbow Hotels®, the world’s only GDS Enabled LGBTQ+ global hotel consortia, representing more than 1,200 hotels in over 230 destinations. HotelREZ also powers the Elegant Hotel Collection® – a full-service luxury soft brand serving a curated global network of unique and inspiring luxury hotels.


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