Premier Inn, a budget-friendly brand owned by UK conglomerate Whitbread, enjoys industry-leading numbers of direct digital distribution. Researchers at Morgan Stanley found that the brand’s website accounted for 87 percent of all distribution in 2016. Morgan Stanley also has figures for direct booking at the other major hotel groups, and these show just how different Premier Inn’s model is. Hilton (30 percent), Hyatt (25 percent) and IHG (36 percent) are all far lower. On a conference call with analysts to coincide with Whitbread’s full-year earnings results in April, Chief Executive Alison Brittain outlined her thinking when it came to distribution. “Direct booking is better for the customer as this is a channel that offers the lowest prices and also gives them better information about their stay,” she said. “It’s also better for us as it’s on lowest-cost channel and it gives us the greatest insight into our customers.” Get the full story at Skift