Budget hotel chain Travelodge has elected to go it alone and has resigned from the British Hospitality Association (BHA), claiming it can represent its interests just as well as the industry body
The decision comes after a review undertaken by Guy Parsons, who becomes Travelodge’s chief executive on 1 July.
Parsons said: “The BHA is a traditional body which represents the full hospitality sector from B&B’s to large corporate organisations. We see an opportunity to transform the hotel industry in the UK, and believe that we can do this best by representing ourselves rather than lobbying via the BHA.”
Parsons said Travelodge had built a strong PR team during the last couple of years that has championed a number of successful campaigns, such as Say No to Bed Tax and Save our Seaside.
“We have an aggressive growth plan in place, which will more than double the size of Travelodge hotels over the next ten years. We plan to do this by building new hotels and purchase existing struggling hotels and turning them into Travelodge properties. I think it’s entirely inappropriate that we should be part of the BHA at a time when we could be acquiring other members’ businesses,” said Parsons.
High profile departures
Travelodge is the second high profile resignation from the BHA recently, with Compass the UK’s largest caterer ending its membership in December 2008.
At the time the caterer, which is working in partnership with Tom Aikens at London’s Somerset House, claimed the BHA had become too diverse to effectively represent the contract catering sector.
Travelodge’s decision will no doubt become one of the focal points to address for Ufi Ibrahim when she joins the BHA as its new chief executive this July, succeeding Bob Cotton.