Premier also outperformed its rivals on the all-important revenue per available room (Revpar) measure. So far this year Revpar at regional hotels – which account for around 90 per cent of its estate – has fallen by 6.9 per cent, compared to an industry drop of 10.2 per cent. If PricewaterhouseCoopers is right in predicting industry Revpar growth of three per cent in 2010 and five per cent in 2011, Premier’s prospects look good.
Some are concerned that the firm has poached Andy Harrison from easyJet, instead of opting for a continuity candidate like managing director Patrick Dempsey. But Harrison is perfect for the role. Like the low-cost airline, Whitbread is all about big brands, consistent customer service and competitive prices. He is lucky that Parker has left the business in such good shape.