More than half of Britons choose staycationing this summer

More than 55 per cent of British adults will be holidaying in Great Britain in summer this year, according to Travelodge’s annual holiday index.

The Travelodge research, which surveyed 3,000 British adults, reveals that 2017 will be another strong year for staycations. However, the figures reflected a drop of three percentage points in the number of Britons holidaying at home this year (55 per cent), compared to 58 per cent last year.

Over half (55 per cent) of Britons surveyed reported that they choose to holiday at home this year as it is too expensive to go abroad and a staycation offers better value for money. The most sought after staycation destinations are Cornwall, Devon, North Wales, Blackpool and the Isle of Wight.

Over a third (36 per cent) of adults said that they were looking to holiday at home this year as part of supporting the British economy following Brexit.

According to the research, British holidaymakers will be spending an average of £599.80 on their annual break this year – contributing nearly £17bn to the UK economy. The average spend of £599.80 is £130 less when compared to the £729.80 in 2016, though it equates to a collective spend of £17bn, Travelodge said.

The study also revealed that nearly half of Britons are taking a one-week holiday supported by three short breaks throughout the 2017. Only 17 per cent of adults are taking a ‘traditional’ two-week holiday.

The seaside remains the favourite destination for Britons, with 53 per cent of adults choosing the British seaside for their annual break. A relaxing rural break is what a third of Britons surveyed opt for and the top destinations for this year include the Lake District, Scottish Highlands, Norfolk Broads, Yorkshire Dales and Peak District. Meanwhile 27 per cent of adults are looking at a city break this summer with London, Edinburgh, Bath, York and Oxford being their top destinations.

The research revealed that the UK’s top staycationers are from the Welsh town of Aberystwyth with 85 per cent of its people choosing a staycation break this year, and the average household spending £456.75. Gloucester, Sheffield, Plymouth and Worcester are other location where the most number of people choose a staycation.

Travelodge opens its third hotel at Gatwick Airport

Travelodge, a hotel chain in the UK, has opened its third hotel at London Gatwick, the UK’s second busiest airport, on January 29, 2014.

Crawley Travelodge is a 110-room new build property with six floors. It represents a GBP7 million investment and has created 20 new jobs within the local community. The hotel is located on Pegler Way in Crawley, which is less than five miles from Gatwick Airport.

The hotel is claimed to have a warm and cosy ambiance, and to help customers to benefit from a good night’s sleep, Travelodge worked with a chromotherapy expert and has introduced a sleep inducing colour palette to the room’s decor. The feature wall has been painted a tranquil blue, which Travelodge says makes one feel relaxed and sleepy.

The new room also features a stylish white contemporary en-suite bathroom with a power shower, stain & water resistant carpet in a dark shade of blue, a larger desk area, new reading lights and a phone charging socket built into the bed frame. The room also includes artwork above the bed in an abstract design featuring relaxing sparkles and shades of blue, which is also said to be restful for the eyes.

Andrina Wooler, Crawley hotel manager said: ‘I am so thrilled to be managing Crawley’s first Travelodge hotel in such a prime location. There is a growing demand for good quality, low cost accommodation in the area, as getting value for money is hugely important for consumers in today’s market. As a result, we are ideally placed to be the smart choice for business and leisure travellers.

‘By attracting new visitors to the area, this hotel will annually boost the local economy by GBP1.2 million, as our research shows the average Travelodge customer will spend on average GBP36 in local businesses during their stay.

‘The hotel has got off to a flying start and there is no doubt that our new room design has had a great impact on sales. Customer feedback has been phenomenal, especially in relation to the Travelodge Dreamer Bed and the overall enhanced new experience.’

Since 2007, Travelodge has added more than 500 rooms near Gatwick Airport and has a total of 602 rooms today. Travelodge research shows the average customer will spend £36 a day in local shops, restaurants and bars during their stay. If so, the three hotels could boost the local economy by as much as £9.5 million per annum.

Britons clueless about the real value of essential toiletry bag, says Travelodge

Over 80 percent of Britons are clueless about the actual value of their essential toiletry bag, according to a holiday survey.

A new report by Travelodge has revealed that 82 percent of the respondents did not know the contents of an average toiletry bag were worth £156.69. The research, which surveyed 3,000 British adults, was conducted as the hotel chain witnessed a rise in the number of toiletry bags being left behind at its 521 hotels.

The average adult estimated their wash bag, with contents, was worth £52.23. However, in reality, the bag of essentials is actually worth nearly three times more.

The survey also found that 52 percent of people typically carry two toiletry bags, one that they will use whilst travelling and the other bag they use daily at home, at the gym or at work. A third of women surveyed (34 percent) stated their toiletry bag is the most important item on a travel or vacation, while a fifth of women, 20 percent, admitted they purchase more expensive toiletry items for a holiday.

The study also analysed the beauty regimes and habits of British men and women.

The image-conscious Britons spend over £14 billion on toiletry products each year, and it is not just women who overspend. Half the men (49 percent) who responded to the survey said that they have set aside soap and water in favour of a more sophisticated daily beauty regime for cleansing, toning and using anti-ageing skin care products, while one in four (25 percent) male respondents even said that they overspend on premium brands that are usually used by women.

One in five, or 20 percent of women do not mind spending £50 on anti-ageing creams and admit to owning 10 different bottles of expensive perfume.

Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge spokeswoman said, ‘I think the main reason why so many Britons are clueless to the actual value of their toiletry bag is due to the fact that most adults purchase their toiletry essentials on an ad-hoc basis.

‘It’s very rare that you would go out and purchase all items in one go therefore you don’t really know the exact total cost as you have brought the items individually.’

The study also revealed the rise of the metrosexual, as men spend more time getting ready to go out than women. On average men spend 81 minutes a day on personal grooming, including cleansing, toning and moisturising, shaving, styling hair and choosing clothes. In contrast, women have their beauty regime completed in just 75 minutes.

The average toiletry bag calculation:
Toiletry Bag £16.50
Electric Toothbrush £50.00
Toothpaste £2.00
Deodorant £2.00
Shampoo £2.50
Moisturiser £10.00
Hairbrush £5.50
Razor £5.00
Perfume / Aftershave £27.00
Hair Conditioner £2.50
Shower gel £2.00
Facial Wash £3.00
Hair styling products £10.00
Body Cream £5.00
Dental floss £2.00
Cleanser £5.00
Mouth wash £3.50
Facial wipes £3.00
Cotton Buds £1.50
Nail clippers £3.50
Pain killers £2.00

Total £156.69

The toiletry items that men regularly borrow from their partners without asking prior permission include moisturiser, hand cream, hair conditioner, perfume, body butter, anti aging serum, night cream etc.

Travelodge enters conference market

Travelodge, the budget hotel chain based in Thame, UK, is to venture into the conference market with the introduction of bespoke meeting rooms at 60 of its UK properties.

The venture has been introduced with the intention of fulfilling a range of business requirements, with up to full-scale conferences for 150 delegates where capacity allows, and the rooms will cost from GBP 200 per day with breakfast included. On completion of a trial period at Travelodge’s London properties, Covent Garden, Waterloo and City Road, the service will be made available at the other 57 properties across the country that have been designated as suitable for its inclusion.

Grant Hearn, Travelodge CEO, said, ‘Despite today’s focus on social media, businesses still recognise the value of a good old-fashioned face-to-face meeting. However, trying to find inexpensive meeting space can be a challenge for businesses, especially in major UK city centres. Therefore to support our business customer base, which has doubled in terms of growth and revenue within the last 12 months, we are launching a new meeting room service in 60 of our hotels. Our meeting rooms have been designed in line with our room product, so that they offer everything you need to run an effective meeting at a great value price.’

Since its creation in 1985, Travelodge has grown to operate more than 450 hotels in the UK, 11 hotels in Ireland and 3 in Spain. It is estimated to employ more than 6,000 workers on either a full or part-time basis.

The new Travelodge meeting rooms can be booked at travelodge.co.uk/business.

 

Travelodge offloads properties

Travelodge, the budget hotel chain that originated in the USA, is offloading 18 of its UK hotel properties.

Following financial difficulties last year, the company agreed a restructuring package with its creditors in October, and the property sale forms part of that restructuring. Beneficiaries of the sale include rival hotel chains Best Western, Ibis and Metro Inns, who have all committed to taking some of the properties. Customers that have pending booking at the hotels in question will either have those bookings honoured by the new owners or have them transferred to another Travelodge property nearby.

In addition to the outright sale of the 18 hotels that will be re-branded, 20 more Travelodge properties have been sold to new owners, but as franchises that will continue to be operated under the Travelodge banner. A further 11 properties will continue to trade as Travelodge for the time being, but only until new owners are found for them.

Grant Hearn, chief executive of Travelodge said, ‘It is great news that we have been able to find new operators and introduce franchise contracts for the majority of these hotels. We were always confident that we would secure a future for these properties and the deals that have taken place just demonstrate the huge strength of the Travelodge brand and the success of our operations model.

‘Going forward, we are very excited to continue to grow our business, strengthen our product offering and make Travelodge the best value hotel chain in the UK.’

By the end of this year, Travelodge intends to have refurbished around 20,000 of its 37,000 rooms as part of a £57 million project.

Hotel chain boss asks UK MP’s to back tourism

The head of Travelodge, a UK-based budget hotel chain, has written to a number of British politicians urging them to use their influence to fight for the nation’s tourism industry.

Grant Hearn, the hotel chain’s chief executive, has written to 106 members of parliament whose constituencies have tourism interests, asking for their support in raising the profile of the UK’s tourism industry from what he sees as its ‘second class’ status in the eyes of policymakers.

Hearn claims that with the right regulatory framework, the tourism industry has the potential to create 300,000 UK jobs by 2020. He has put forward a 10-point plan that he believes would develop the tourism industry into a force that could lead the economy with growth and new jobs. To achieve this he believes that the government needs to give more priority to tourism and reassign its responsibility from the government’s Department of Culture Media & Sports, to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

A tourism taskforce that would be headed by a minister for tourism – and which would be responsible for delivering growth and creating a cross departmental cohesive strategy in cooperation with all tourism partners – is also on Hearn’s agenda, along with easier visa access for foreign nationals, especially those from Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC).

With his rallying cry coming on the eve of English Tourism Week, Hearn said, ‘English Tourism Week celebrates a vital industry in terms of providing economic growth, inward investment and job creation but it has been largely ignored by successive Governments. The industry needs more than just lip service, as we have a huge opportunity within our grasp to help the economy recover.

‘A lack of action is costing jobs, growth and investment, and whilst we dither, our European neighbours and the USA are successfully pursuing growth via forward-thinking tourism strategies.

‘The difficulties in the economy are well publicised, but British tourism can act as a catalyst to help grow the UK’s economy and create much needed jobs. It’s crucial that the Government does everything it can to unleash the true potential of one of the few industries that is continuing to grow, but to be able to do that we need MP’s who will champion its cause.

‘Our 10-point plan is about positioning tourism as a key element of a sustainable economic recovery, so we hope this provides the catalyst for MP’s to stand up and fight for it.’

Travelodge Appoints New Chairman to Tackle Finances

Travelodge Hotels, a UK-based company that owns and operates hotel properties, has appointed a new chairman, Brian Wallace, who is expected to help steer the company out of its financial troubles.

Wallace has extensive experience of serving in the hotel industry and was the deputy chief executive at the Hilton group. He is taking over the hotel chain at a time when it has announced a decision to offload around 49 properties to other operators.

Grant Hearn, the chief executive of Travelodge, said, ‘I am really excited to welcome Brian as the new Chairman of Travelodge.

He has extensive experience of the hotel industry, which will be invaluable as we continue to grow the Travelodge brand and deliver on our successful growth strategy.

I have known Brian for over 12 years and believe he will be a real asset to our company.’

Previously, the company had agreed a financial restructuring, for the long-term future of the business, in conjunction with a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA). Under the terms of CVA, 347 hotels and 70 percent of the estate will be left as it is, and 109 hotels will be offered a rent reduction on completion of the restructuring. The company has also identified 49 hotels that will be handed over to new operators. To date, only two of these have been handed over to new management.

Grant Hearn has previously explained, ‘The financial restructuring, including the CVA, will leave Travelodge in a much stronger position going forward and will ensure a long-term, sustainable future for the business. Once this joint process is completed, Travelodge’s debt, interest costs and lease liabilities will be significantly reduced. This new appropriate level will provide greater security for our staff, suppliers, landlords and developers. This is a successful brand with millions of customers and the company will emerge in excellent shape from this process.’

Travelodge Introduces Hotel Rooms with Night Sky Panorama Ceilings

Travelodge Hotels, a UK-based company that owns and operates hotel properties, is offering a customised hotel rooms to its guests, which feature a night sky panorama on the ceiling.

The rooms have been created with the intention of providing guests with a good night’s sleep, and include a ceiling featuring the Milky Way and constellations of stars that shine as the room turns dark, and fade to a perfect white ceiling with the morning light.

The brand has created the room as a result of a recent survey that it conducted to research the perfect sleeping conditions. Around 42 percent of respondents said that they like to sleep with the backdrop of a starry night sky, compared to other backdrops that included a tropical beach, rainforest and jungle. Around 52 percent of Britons who participated in the survey feel there is something magical about starry nights.

Shakila Ahmed, the Travelodge spokesperson, said, ‘As part of our commitment in helping to ensure our customers attain a good night’s sleep, we are constantly looking at innovative sleep aids. Therefore in response to our latest sleep study, which highlighted Britons most desirable place to nod off is under a blanket of stars, we took the challenge and created the ultimate outdoor sleeping experience indoors. Now our customers can gaze into a cosmic night sky of shooting stars, milky ways and constellations of twinkling stars from the comfort of their warm cosy bed.’

The rooms are currently available at Birmingham Bull Ring; Blackpool South Shore; Bournemouth Seafront; Bristol Central Mitchell Lane; Cardiff Atlantic Wharf; Edinburgh Central Waterloo; Liverpool Strand; London City Road; Manchester Central Arena; Newcastle Central; Newquay; and Torquay Travelodge locations in the UK.

Travelodge is currently operating around 500 hotels, offering a total of 35,400 rooms in the UK, Ireland and Spain. The company expansion plans include increasing its portfolio to 1,100 hotels and 100,000 rooms by 2025. For reservations made online at travelodge.co.uk, room rates commence at £19 per night.

Travelodge Returns to Hometown

Travelodge Hotels, a UK-based company that owns and operates hotel properties, has announced the opening of its newest hotel in Burton-upon-Trent, in UK, where in 1985 it opened its first hotel.

The new Travelodge Burton-upon-Trent Central will be opened by the Mayor of East Staffordshire, Cllr Len Milner, and Judy Harper, a receptionist at the company’s first hotel, Travelodge Burton A48 Northbound, and one of the first employees of the brand.

Burton-upon-Trent Central Travelodge is offering 68 guestrooms in an iconic Midlands Grain Warehouse constructed in the late 19th Century.

Melissa Wilson, the hotel manager for Burton-upon-Trent Central, said, ‘It is an honour to manage a Travelodge hotel in Burton-upon-Trent, as everyone in the company knows the importance that the town play in our history. By attracting new visitors to Travelodge Burton-upon-Trent Central we will boost the local economy by £1.1 million. As our research shows the average Travelodge customer will spend on average £36 a day in local shops, restaurants and bars during their stay.’

Judy Harper, the Travelodge receptionist who will open Travelodge Burton-upon-Trent Central, said, ‘I couldn’t believe it when I was asked to open the new hotel, I thought someone might be winding me up. It is such a privilege to open a Travelodge hotel after all these years working for the company and I’m very honoured. I’ve seen a lot in 27 years working for Travelodge but I never thought I’d get to do something like this.’

Mayor of East Staffordshire, Cllr Len Milner, said, ‘It’s wonderful to see Travelodge coming home to Burton-upon-Trent, and continuing to invest in the town. The brand has had an incredibly successful 27 years, and we’re proud that it all started here.’

Travelodge is currently operating around 500 hotels offering 35,400 rooms in the UK, Ireland and Spain. The company expansion plans include increasing its portfolio to 1,100 hotels and 100,000 rooms by 2025. For reservations made online at travelodge.co.uk, room rates commence at £19 per night.

Travelodge to rationalise number of UK hotels

Travelodge, a US-based budget hotel chain, is to shed a number of its UK properties.

The hotel chain is to shed up to 10 percent of its 500 properties in the UK, and intends to reduce its rent bills on another 100 or so. The rationalisation comes in the wake of the group’s previous owners, Dubai International Capital, handing over control of Travelodge to US bankers, Goldman Sachs, and US hedge funds Golden Tree Asset Management and Avenue Capital, in a debt for equity swap.

Most of the 500 properties in question are not owned by the company, but rented, and it intends to find new owners for 49 of them, having also asked accountancy firm KPMG to negotiate rent reductions with 109 more.

The company saw an increase in profit of 20 percent, to £55m last year, but KPMG is still to ask creditors to write off £720m of Travelodge debt. Unless 75 percent of the company’s unsecured creditors agree to the deal it will go into liquidation.

The company’s problems are rooted in 2005, when Dubai International Capital acquired it in a £675m leveraged buyout from Permira, a private equity group, in a deal that loaded the company with £475m of debt. That debt has been costing the business £100m per year in interest ever since, limiting money for investment and refurbishment, despite the company achieving a 16 percent annual increase in revenue, culminating in a total of £370m last year. Dubai IC is set to lose £400m on the original deal.

The company still had plans for expansion, even up until January this year, when it announced that it would be opening 41 properties towards a long-term objective of operating 1,100 properties and 100,000 rooms.