Travelodge intends to take advantage of the weak property market by expanding its location wish-list to 146 sites.
The budget hotel chain said it was responding to the availability of sites that would previously have been sold for prime residential and commercial use.
It follows the move towards a "Metrolodge" strategy, which will see it taking smaller properties in sought-after locations. Working with supermarkets, pub companies and retailers, Travelodge has made city development sites more viable.
Of the 146 locations, 65 of them are in the Greater London area. They include Liverpool Street and Covent Garden, as well as suburban locations such as Tulse Hill, Morden and Ruislip.
Recognising the staycation trend, Travelodge has also targeted new locations in the Lake District as well coastal destinations such as Hove, Peterhead and Newhaven.
Chief executive Guy Parsons said: "Our ability to raise finance means that we are able to move quickly when other companies remain strangled by red tape. This, coupled with our ability to be flexible and innovative in terms of the development schemes we can undertake, ensures we are in a very strong position. The expansion of our target list reflects the confidence I have in the ability of our property team to move quickly and secure the best sites."
Travelodge also confirmed that in 2011 it exchanged contracts for 44 further new hotels (approximately 4,000 bedrooms), representing an investment of £228m. In addition to the exchanges, Travelodge opened 38 new hotels in 2011, increasing its UK estate to 496 hotels.
By James Stagg
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