Travelodge is to strengthen its presence in Spain by opening a fourth, 116-bedroom hotel in the country today in Valencia.
Work has also started on the building of a new 250-bedroom hotel in Barcelona Poble Nou, which is due to open in spring 2013. Together, the hotels in Valencia and Barcelona represent an investment of £40m and will create 66 new jobs.
Travelodge's existing hotels in Spain include two in Madrid and one in Barcelona Hospitalet. It is expected that construction on a further two Travelodge hotels, with a total of 295 bedrooms, will begin in the country during the next six months.
Travelodge chief executive Guy Parsons said that the company's low-cost business model worked perfectly in the Spanish market, where rooms are offered from �20 (£17.50).
"The demand for branded budget accommodation is rapidly growing across Spain," said Parsons. "It has been a good summer for Travelodge with total sales growth of 21% and occupancy of 83% across our Spanish hotels.
"Similar to the UK market, the recession has forced many Spanish businesses and financial institutions to make cut-backs. As a result, we have seen a significant rise in corporate business come through our doors."
With the branded budget hotels sector representing just 1.9% of total hotel stock, Parsons believes there is enormous potential for Travelodge to grow in Spain.
"This is substantially lower than other European countries such as France, which is 24%, and the UK, which currently stands at 16%," he added. "Our target is to have 1,100 hotels by 2025 and Spain will play a fundamental part of our growth strategy. Our aim is to have at least 100 hotels in Spain's top cities.
The opening of Valencia Travelodge - located at the city's airport - takes the total number of hotels in the group to 485, with 34,342 bedrooms.
By Janet Harmer
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