HRS has said European travel buyers stand to gain from this week’s acquisition of hotel booking platform The Lido Group.

A “minority investment” was made in Lido back in 2016, but this week the company announced it had now fully acquired the hotel booking platform, which specialises in government travel, as well as the education and insurance sectors.

Speaking to Buying Business Travel, Rob Hornman, senior vice-president, hotel solutions EMEA, HRS, warned that accommodation prices in Australia were high, and that in a post-Brexit world, its extended “reach” in Australia and also New Zealand would allow travel buyers to better control costs.

The trade value between the UK and Australia is worth AU$26.9 billion

“It’s a great opportunity, and it’s going in two directions,” Hornman said. “There are 8,500 hotels [in the Lido network], and the chains control about half of those, so we’ve got greater access to the independent hotels.

“It’s a growing market that’s under pressure. Sydney and Hobart, for example, are at 80% occupancy levels. For European buyers, it’s very important. The trade value between the UK and Australia is worth AU$26.9 billion. There’s a natural flow, which has now become even more important.”

Some 37% of hotel bookings in the country are made in Sydney, which has 50,000 new rooms in the pipeline. Domestic business travel accounts for 83%.

The acquisition also now offers “complete coverage in the APAC region” for HRS, Hornman claims, with a total of 11 offices. All 60 Lido staff will transfer to HRS, with new offices opening in Sydney.

HRS also says it will be leveraging Lido’s virtual payment technology, which it claims could reduce processing fees by up to 70%.;

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