By Max Clarke
Today, the UK's fastest growing hotel company, Travelodge, has announced it is building 35 hotels (3,667 rooms) this year and creating 700 new jobs in the UK. These new properties at an investment of £300 million will boost the company's estate to 495 hotels and 35,841 hotels.
In addition, Travelodge has also announced it has increased its growth targets and plans to have 1,100 hotels and 100,000 rooms by 2025.
Guy Parsons, Travelodge Chief Executive said: "The hotels we will build this year have been a result of Travelodge's commitment to expand during the recession whilst many companies put their development on hold. Last year we exchanged on 96 sites making it a record year. Fifty two of these exchanges were part of the biggest transaction in the hotel sector since 2008 with the pub chain Mitchells & Butlers.
"As a result of the recession, we have successfully acquired superior sites due to lower market property prices, which otherwise would not have been available for hotel use.
"We have demonstrated our commitment to expand and have a clear growth plan laid out which means we will reach over 1,100 hotels and 100,000 rooms by 2025."
Since the collapse of Lehman Brothers on September 15th 2008, Travelodge has opened and exchanged on 13,900 hotel rooms, equaling 4.3 million sq ft, more than any other leisure company in Britain.
Over half of the Travelodge hotels being built this year are situated in major UK cities. There are eight hotels being built in London, with three opening this year - this will mean Travelodge will become the largest single hotel brand in the capital this spring.
In addition there are three hotels being built in Birmingham, sites include the NEC, two city centre locations (Carrs Lane and Bullring). In Manchester Travelodge is opening at the MEN arena and at the University. There are also city centre hotel openings in: Cardiff, Liverpool, Bristol, Lancaster, Canterbury, Cambridge and Hull.
Guy Parsons, Travelodge, Chief Executive, said: "Our aggressive growth plan has continued to drive Travelodge's presence in city centres where over half of our hotels are now located.
"With our new 2011 London openings we will become the largest hotel brand in the capital this spring whilst our Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham hotels will be some of the biggest within our estate".
In addition there are five hotel openings in coastal locations which include: Morecombe, Paignton, Ramsgate, Portishead and New Brighton. Travelodge is also opening a hotel in Spain's third largest city Valencia - at the airport.
Over the last five years Travelodge has heavily focused on city centre growth to rebalance its portfolio - away from roadside locations. Today these motorway and trunk route sites represent just 25% of the company's hotel stock with the remaining quarter in suburban, seaside and tourist locations.