Jurys Inn re-positioning pays off as corporate business rises 8%

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Jurys inn, Hotel, Hotel chains

John Brennan, chief executive of Jurys Inn said a focus on providing good value and the right facilities for corporate guests was paying off so far
John Brennan, chief executive of Jurys Inn said a focus on providing good value and the right facilities for corporate guests was paying off so far
A two-year focus by hotel chain Jurys Inn to refurbish its estate and re-position itself as a 'credible alternative' to four-star and budget hotels has paid off with the company seeing an increase in corporate guest business of 8 per cent over the last year. 

The Irish-based company, led by chief executive John Brennan, has invested £25m in its 32-strong estate in the UK and Ireland over the last two years and the business traveller has been very much at the heart of its focus throughout the upgrade. 

Wi-Fi is now available at all 24 hotels in the UK and bedroom refurbishments have included more power sockets at the bedside to cope with increasing use of smartphones and tablets, a bigger desk area and new, more comfortable beds. 

"If we are going to be targeting the business traveller then we need to have a package of services that give people the functionality they require when they are travelling," Brennan told BigHospitality. 

Corporate business

Many operators saw corporate travel drop off from 2008 as firms were forced to cut back in this area with those people who did continue to travel for business going for the budget option​.

However, there have been reports from many operators, including De Vere Venues​ and Hilton ​that there has been a resurgence in the corporate and meetings market over the last year. 

Brennan said Jurys Inn had been reluctant to head down the budget route at the start of the recession and instead had focused on positioning itself as the best choice for business and leisure travellers by underlining the 'good value' message.

He said with an above industry average rise in the numbers of corporate guests using his hotels and with a 7 per cent rise in satisfaction from guests responding to its surveys over the last few months, he was confident the focus was paying off. 

"We are in the mid-market space but are still giving good value," he said. "The reality is that budget hotels often don't give the corporate guest what they want. What we are offering is of a sufficiently high standard and we're in city centres, giving a very reasonable alternative to a more traditional hotel and I think all our efforts are delivering what we hoped they would." 

Meetings, food and beverage

The meetings market is where Jurys Inn is now focusing on improving its presence. The company offers 420 meeting rooms across its estate and has recently relaunched its offer, upgrading rooms and revising its food and beverage menus. 

A new grill restaurant concept is also being trialled at the refurbished Birmingham hotel and, if successful, could be rolled out to other properties in the next year. 

For the year ahead, investment in its existing estate is of greater importance than expanding, Brennan said with plans to extend its Islington and Edinburgh properties, adding an extra 157 and 140 bedrooms respectively. 

Related topics: Business, People, Hotels, Venues

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