Premier Inn announces four new hotel openings for Scottish staycations in summer

Whitbread, the owner of the Premier Inn and hub by Premier Inn hotel brands, is preparing for a summer of staycations in Scotland with four new hotels set to open in the coming months.

The new hotels include a new Premier Inn in Glasgow city centre, a new hotel on Edinburgh’s Princes Street and the most northerly Premier Inn in the UK at Thurso in the Highlands. The new hotels will add more than 550 new bedrooms into Premier Inn’s growing network in Scotland and are expected to create around 150 new year-round jobs ahead of the busy summer trading period.

Alex Flach, Development Director at Premier Inn, said: ‘We expect that this summer will be a busy year for staycations so it’s fantastic to have four new Premier Inn hotels opening in such popular locations in Scotland – from prime city centre sites to adventure tourism hotspots.

‘Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, we are committed to growing our network of Premier Inn hotels in Scotland and see strong long-term demand for our bedrooms in both urban and popular leisure locations. Our goal is to deliver new Premier Inn bedrooms into strategic locations where our brands are not currently represented and where we wish to improve our network and product for our guests.

‘We’re actively on the lookout for new opportunities to make it even easier for both leisure and business travelers to enjoy the country affordably.’

Located in Glasgow’s St Enoch Square, a new 249-bedroom hotel, will be the first in Scotland to include the Bar + Block Steakhouse restaurant brand and grows Premier Inn’s network of hotels in the centre of Scotland’s largest city to over 1,200 rooms.

On Edinburgh’s Princes Street, Whitbread will open a new 136-bedroom hotel, adding additional capacity in Edinburgh city centre. The most northerly Premier Inn will open in Thurso in May, located on the North Coast 500 tourist route in the Highlands, an increasingly popular spot for staycations and adventure tourism. Further, Whitbread is regenerating a key city centre site with a new Premier Inn and Beefeater in Hamilton town centre.

Whitbread has been expanding its leisure locations in Scotland in recent years, with new additions to its network at Aviemore and Oban, as well as extensions to popular trading hotels in Edinburgh and Inverness.

Heathrow announces return of Inverness link, opens up Highlands

Inverness and the Highlands are now reconnected to London Heathrow, the UK’s global gateway, via a daily service which will facilitate business growth in the north of Scotland, according to a release by Heathrow Airport.

This new daily service operated by British Airways reconnects the capital of the Highlands to Heathrow for the first time in almost a decade. With over 100,000 seats available annually, the service opens up profitable trade routes and 92 new onward long-haul destinations, enabling businesses and leisure passengers to more easily connect to markets around the world.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: ‘The Inverness-Heathrow route offers so much potential for the businesses and people of the north west of Scotland who for too long have been let down by the indecision on airport expansion. Today is a momentous day – Inverness joins Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle with a route into Heathrow and access to markets from Manila to Mexico City, from Chicago to Chengdu, from Hanoi to Houston. It means more growth and a more secure economic future for the Highlands and I’m delighted that we’re able to be a part of that future success.’

Stewart Nicol, Chief Executive, Inverness Chamber of Commerce said: ‘This is a very significant development for the Highland business community in terms of increasing the connectivity between Inverness, London and the South-East of the UK. This will make it much easier for Highland businesses to connect to markets across the world. It is also a significant endorsement of all that HIAL have done to secure the UK’s leading airline, and one of the world’s most iconic commercial airline brands, back to the city of Inverness. In addition to making it easier for Highland businesses to access global destinations from Heathrow, this route makes it much easier for tourists from across the world to get to Inverness.’

Sarah Medcraf, Chief Executive Officer, Moray Chamber of Commerce said: ‘We welcome the launch of this new service which will greatly enhance the options of travel, particularly for business travel connections. The continued investment of transport links in the Highlands, Islands & Moray will encourage economic development to show that this is the place to live, work and play.’

According to new economic analysis, the Inverness route will have a significant positive impact on the Inverness economy with benefits for regional industries such as life sciences, food and drink and tourism, the release noted.