Hotel group Travelodge has launched a proactive campaign to reinvigorate the domestic seaside holiday market by investing £150m in 55 new budget hotels along the UK coastline.
The investment project, which is set to be completed in 2015, will begin by launching hotels at an initial rate of around one coastal location a month. The popular destinations earmarked for construction over the next twelve months include: Blackpool, Weymouth, Newquay, Bournemouth and Scarborough.
Travelodge, which is privately owned by Dubai International Capital, has traditionally focused its business on heavily populated towns and city centres. The decision to expand its portfolio towards smaller coastal locations is a direct response to the recent economic downturn as well as the rising cost of air travel and the effect that this is expected to have on the average British holidaymaker.
‘Soaring airfares, an overpowering euro and the credit crunch are changing holiday habits this summer and maybe for good,’ Travelodge CEO Grant Hearn said.
Travelodge operates 30 seaside properties at present and is confident that the market has plenty more room to grow. Travelodge recorded strong like-for-like growth in 2007 and is predicting a rise in revenue of around 30% over the busy July and August periods.
These statistics are expected to stand the chain in good stead as it prepares to persuade house builders and property developers that converting their properties to Travelodge hotels under the current economic conditions would be more profitable than renting them out as residential housing.
This investment should come as especially welcome news to coastal towns, which have struggled in recent times due to unemployment, a lack of investment and the desire of the British holidaymaker to travel abroad.
The construction of these hotels is estimated to create around 1,000 local jobs. Travelodge also plans to combine with other leisure operators such as Merlin’s Sea Life, Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach and National Express Coaches, which will offer customers additional savings and attractions.
By Daniel Garrun