Travelodge has announced that it will open 41 hotels with 3,610 rooms across the UK throughout 2012.
The new properties, at an investment of £246m, will boost the company's estate to 537 hotels and over 39,000 rooms. They will also involve the creation of nearly 1,000 new jobs.
Eleven of the 41 new openings this year are located in London, including what will be Travelodge's 500th hotel, at Stratford, which is due to open in February. Other hotels to open in the capital include those in Greenwich and London ExCel. Travelodge already claims to be the largest hotel brand in London with 43 hotels and 5,958 rooms.
Travelodge's chief executive Guy Parsons said he was delighted to be opening even more hotels than in 2011. "Despite the ongoing tough economic climate, Travelodge is continuing to open hotels at a faster rate than anyone else and create much-needed jobs; which is exactly what the British economy needs right now.
"The demand for good quality budget accommodations is growing at such pace across the country that we have added 146 new UK locations to our target requirements list. Therefore we can build more hotels in the locations where consumers need them."
Parsons said that Travelodge is in a strong position to achieve its target of 1,000 hotels by 2020.
The company's expansion is being fuelled by its own strong trading position, a continued weakness in the property markets and a flexible development model, which includes the growth of smaller hotels through its Metrolodge strategy.
Travelodge has also secured development sites by working with supermarket brands such as Morrisons, Waitrose and Tesco; pub companies like Mitchells & Butlers, JD Wetherspoons and Greene King; and other brands including TopShop, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Wilkinson Stores and Toyota.
\* New independent research from Customer Service Benchmarking has highlighted Travelodge as outperforming its rivals across the hospitality sector. The company's average score for a number of criteria such as warmth, welcome, interest, confidence and value was 89.9% compared with a hospitality sector benchmark of 76.51%.
By Janet Harmer
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