At the opening of the 500th Travelodge in the UK in Stratford, the budget hotel chain has announced significant London expansion plans with another 184 sites planned for the capital by 2025 creating 5,000 jobs across the city.
The expansion plans see a Travelodge in every London borough which equates to an extra 7,820,400sq.ft of development space for the company equal to nine O2 arenas.
At the opening of the 500th Travelodge located just yards from the London 2012 Olympic stadium in Stratford, chief executive Guy Parsons said the expansion plans were a matter of pride for the business which was founded with one hotel in 1985.
“In 2010, at the opening of our 400th hotel, we said that we would be the biggest hotelier in London in time for the 2012 Olympics and true to our word we have achieved this target. When the Games start on the 27 July 2012, we will have 53 hotels in the capital but our London growth story is only just beginning,” he said.
Travelodge's new openings in the capital over the next thirteen years will focus on boroughs where regenration is a priority such as Ealing, Wandsworth and Lewisham.
Parsons said the budget hotel sector was currently well represented in central London but the company would be looking beyond that area of the city.
“Our London expansion programme will create around 5,000 jobs across the capital which will certainly help to ensure that the whole of London’s economy benefits from our expansion,” he said.
Around ten per cent of the new jobs will be recruited through the Junior Management Apprenticeship Programme - JuMP.
Growing budget sector
Reacting to the announcement, the hotel consultant Melvin Gold said the percentage of budget hotels in London was currently lower than other UK cities such as Manchester or Glasgow. This, Gold claimed, was something the influx of Olympics Games visitors would change as they would lead to an increase of branded budget accommodation.
Travelodge already has 47 hotels in London with six more on the way before the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. The 188-room Stratford hotel is the 500th for the company and was opened by Tourism Minister John Penrose after a £15.5m investment.
Penrose congratulated the company on the opening and expansion plans and agreed that the budget sector was a major growth area for UK tourism.
“Tourism is one of the largest industries in the UK and it is vital that we offer a broad spectrum of hotel provision. The budget sector is really growing in Britain and I look forward to opening Travelodge's 600th in a couple of year’s time," he said.
At the end of last year and looking forward to 2012, Parsons said Travelodge was reaping the benefits of a decision to expand during a recession .
Travelodge currently has 47 hotels and 6,531 rooms in London with nine more slated to open before and after the Olympics which will take the estate in the capital to 53 hotels and 7,201 rooms:
- ExCel Centre
- Bethnal Green