The chief executive of Premier Travel Inn owner Whitbread has cast doubt on newly announced proposals by rival budget hotel chain Travelodge to open 70,000 new rooms by 2020.
In its announcement yesterday, Travelodge said that the plan, representing an investment of £3.5b, would involve the addition of 4,000 rooms a year, equivalent to about 40 hotels.
PTI is planning to add 3,000 rooms a year on top of the 32,500 in 480 hotels that it operates already, which means that Travelodge would probably catch up in about 2020.
But Alan Parker said PTI's target did not include any acquisitions of existing companies that Whitbread might seek for conversion to the PTI brand and he also suggested it was unrealistic to plan 13 years ahead.
In quotes carried by The Times today, Parker said: "I know what our own expansion plans are and we haven't the remotest idea of relinquishing our market leadership."
By Daniel Thomas