Travelodge is to make its first foray into the overseas budget hotel market, with a format devised by retail specialist The One Off Company, which was launched earlier this year. Monday’s announcement of a €1bn (£715m) expansion programme in Spain will see up to 100 hotels opening across major cities including Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia by 2020 and follows a two-year pilot. ‘We brought in a retail group rather than a hotel specialist, to look at our offering in different way. Most of the hotel designers look to keep adding things back in, but our focus is on good basics,’ says Guy Parsons, Travelodge global chief operating officer. The hotels will have about 100 rooms, using the same leasehold model that is in use in the UK, mirroring the UK pricing and format (pictured), targeting domestic travellers and its strong UK customer base which travels regularly to Spain. ‘We don’t really need to change anything in the rooms, we’re just going to replace carpeted floors with wooden ones, and install air conditioning units,’ says Parsons.
The same identity and branding, which has strong brand recognition across Web plat forms, says Parsons, will be retained. ‘The Spanish market has favourable conditions, and ticked all the boxes. It has a strong domestic travel market, while Internet use is widespread. The budget market there is also hugely underdeveloped in comparison with Germany or the US, with only about 100 budget hotels,’ says Parsons. The budget chain has appointed Horacio Alcala as development director to spear head the group’s expansion in Spain. He will report to Paul Harvey, Travelodge’s board director for property and development.