Budget hotel chain Travelodge claims it will now hit its target to be the largest operator in London ahead of the Olympics, with the opening of four properties in the capital, and a further three around the country.
The new London hotel openings (located in Balham, Enfield, ExCel and Woolwich) are a combined investment value of £36m and take Travelodge’s portfolio in the capital to 54 properties.
Travelodge claimed this would make it the biggest hotel chain. However, Its rival Premier Inn also lays claim to being London's biggest hotelier - its measure is slightly different, with 60 hotels and just under 8,000 rooms within the M25.
“To be London’s largest hotel brand at the start of the Olympics is an achievement that everyone in the business is proud of,” said Travelodge chief executive Grant Hearn. Our growth strategy for the capital is not, however, based around the Olympics.
“We have long recognised that London has a shortage of good quality, affordable hotel rooms, not just in the centre but also in the suburbs.”
As well as the four hotels in London, Travelodge is also opening hotels in July at Hemel Hempstead, Cheshire Oaks and Tamworth.
Hearn added: “We will be opening a further four hotels in London after the Games and five more next year. We are also actively looking for a further fifty sites across the capital to ensure that we can meet the clear demand there is for affordable hotel rooms.”
The reason for the expansion by Travelodge is that there is apparently an under capacity of budget hotel rooms in London.
A recent report by hotel industry analyst Melvin Gold identified that in the just 17 per cent of the hotel supply is provided by the branded budget sector in the capital, compared to over 28 per cent in UK cities such as: Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Glasgow.
For the Olympics which kick off later this month, Travelodge has released over 30,000 rooms across London, priced from £25.50 to £95 for the period between 19 June to 9 September 2012. In addition, it has launched a new summer of sports Bar Café menu.
The four new hotels have created 117 jobs across London and all new recruits have been hired from the long term unemployed. Travelodge currently employs 1,400 staff across the capital.
At the opening of the 500th UK Travelodge in Stratford in March 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.