Dubai-owned Travelodge to expand across Europe

UK’s second-biggest budget hotel group is eyeing at least 100 hotels in Spain
Dubai-owned Travelodge to expand across Europe
Travelodge is planning a major expansion across Europe and is aiming for up to 100 hotels in Spain alone (Getty Images - image for illustrative purposes only)
By Shane McGinley
Thu 15 Sep 2011 05:56 PM

Dubai-owned budget hotel group Travelodge, is planning a major expansion across Europe and is aiming for up to 100 hotels in Spain alone, the group’s CEO confirmed on Wednesday.

Travelodge, which is the UK’s second-biggest budget hotel group and which was acquired by Dubai International Capital, the investment arm of Dubai Holding, for around $1.28bn in 2006, reported a fifteen percent rise in total sales in the thirteen weeks to end-August.

Revenue per available room (RevPAR) at hotels which have been open more than a year grew by three percent.

The group is looking to build on this success and is set to launch an expansion plan across Europe, having set a long-term target to open 100 hotels in Spain, where it has already successfully opened four hotels.

"There are still big opportunities in a number of European countries. What Spain has proven to us is that the brand is completely transferable," CEO Guy Parsons Parsons told Reuters.

"We're actively working on what our European strategy looks like and we'll be able to announce that in the coming months," he added.

Parsons declined to comment on what countries Travelodge will look to enter but analysts have suggested Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Italy would be suitable markets.

"The only country that is locked out for us at the moment is France. We'd need to do some M&A activity to get into France but in the rest of continental Europe there's no really dominant player," he said.

Travelodge, which operates 466 hotels in Britain, has set a long-term expansion target in the UK of 1,100 hotels and 100,000 rooms by 2013.

In April it was confirmed Travelodge had become the largest operator in London after opening a new 99-bed hotel on Ealing Broadway.

The budget chain now operates 40 hotels in the capital containing 5,714 rooms. It is now ahead of Hilton, the former employer of Travelodge managing director Paul Harvey, the London Evening Standard reported.

"We are now the largest hotel brand in London. We want to expand to 14,000 rooms in the capital by 2016 and to 30,000 rooms in the long term," he told the UK daily newspaper.

"It is great to see a big-name hotel firm like Travelodge enjoying such vigorous expansion," added London Mayor Boris Johnson.

In May, Gerard Lawless, chairman of Dubai’s Jumeirah Group, which is also part of Dubai Holding, was appointed a non-executive director of Travelodge.

“It is a non-executive director representing Dubai Holding, who are the ultimate owners. It is interesting, especially coming from the luxury end of the business,” Lawless said at the time.

* With Reuters

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