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Travel managers choose hotel brand over price, research finds

White paper finds independent hotels 15 per cent cheaper, but business travellers still prefer branding

Pictured: A 3-star independent hotel costs an average of £71 per night, compared to £82 for chain hotels, HRS has found

Independent hotels are up to 15 per cent cheaper than chains, though business travellers are willing to sacrifice price for brand names, HRS has found in a white paper called Think Independent.

The global hotel management company says its analysis shows an overnight stay in a three-star independent hotel will cost an average of £71, while a chain hotel of the same category will cost an average of £82.

However the white paper also found business travellers prefer chain hotels to independent brands, putting this down to 'market fragmentation'.

It says: "The lack of transparency associated with medium-sized hotels presents a huge challenge for corporate travel managers when putting together their hotel portfolio. Therefore, in order to minimise the time and effort spent on negotiations, many companies are inclined to turn to selected hotel chains rather than negotiate with a multitude of independent hotels."

Independent hotels make up 88 per cent of the European market.

Keith Watson, director, Hotel Solutions for Western & Northern Europe at HRS, encouraged travel organisers to consider independent hotels, saying: "At first sight, the focus on negotiations with chain hotels seems reasonable. But by including independent hotels in the discussion, companies can make huge savings on room rates and, at the same time, meet the needs of their travellers more effectively."

Download the full white paper here.

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