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Press releases

TRAVELODGE UNVEILS BIGGEST CONSUMER RIP- OFF IN DECADES - BRITS ARE WASTING £186 MILLION, ANNUALLY, ON HOTEL ITEMS THEY DONíT NEED OR WANT

20th Jul 2004


Travelodge, the UKís no.1 low-cost hotel brand, recently conducted a survey that reveals Brits are being trapped into paying a staggering total of £186m a year for goods and services they donít want and never use in hotels. The research involving more than 5,000 hotel guests has exposed a disturbing Ďmust pay, donít wantí list of how traditional hotels sting their customers for extra cash.

On average, Brits take 101* million breaks annually within the UK, at a total cost of £17.4* billion. Travelodge research revealed that £186 million is wasted on items within hotel rooms that British consumers do not need or want.

The incredible costs passed on to consumers include:
∑ Annual charges of £8m for shower caps that 95% of guests donít use
∑ Over £12m for the privilege of having a mini-bar in your room, the contents of which are up to four times more expensive than the average retail price
∑ Swimming pool and gym access that equates to £29m per year
∑ Over £31m on branded stationery that only 6% of guests ever use

Grant Hearn, chief executive of Travelodge, said: ď Consumers have to challenge their spending on hotel accommodation and question how much they are paying for a room and the items within it. Most people just want a clean room with a comfy bed and en-suite bathroom. By being smart in your decision-making on choice of hotel you could save over a hundred pounds, which is real money to be spent on something else. There is no excuse why people should pay extortionate prices for goods and services they have neither the time nor the inclination to use, itís all in the decision-making.Ē

The research also identified that all people require from their hotel stop-over is comfort, cleanliness and in-room entertainment, with the top requirements in a hotel room being; a comfortable bed (92%), a clean en-suite bathroom with shower (76%), a colour TV (65%) and convenient, hassle free service (57%). Paying over the odds for services and products that they didnít request was the number one bugbear for 59% of those surveyed.
For further information, please contact:
Shakila Ahmed
PR Manager
Direct Line: 0121 521 6638
Mobile: 07802 702 499
Email: Shakila.ahmed@travelodge.co.uk

Notes to Editor:
Research was undertaken on behalf of Travelodge by ICM, TRI Hospitality Consulting and Mediaedge CIA during August Ė September 2003 amongst 5,000 adults aged 18+ throughout the UK

* Figures from Visit Britain

VOTED OUT (% of people surveyed who donít want /use) VOTED IN (% of people surveyed who consider the following hotel product or service important to their stay)
Shower cap (95%) Comfortable bed (92%)
Trouser press (85%) En-suite bathroom (76%)
Sauna (83%) Colour TV (65%)
Swimming pool (78%) Hassle-free service (57%)
Sewing kit (77%) Double glazing (42%)
Branded stationery (75%)
Gym (68%)
Disposable slippers (64%)
Shoe shine kit (46%)

The most expensive swim in history
By far the biggest cost incurred by unknowing consumers has to be those tranquil pools and state-of-the-art gyms that look so good in the glossy brochures. Travelodge has discovered that whilst gym facilities play a deciding factor for 75% of us when choosing accommodation, in reality 68% of people never use the gym when they stay at a hotel and 78% never use the swimming pool, despite annual charges that equate to £29m every single year.

What shower caps are really used for
95% of people that stay in traditional hotels donít want or use the complementary shower cap. Of the small minority that do delight in the pleasures of the shower cap, only 21% actually seem to use them for their intended use, with the majority identifying the ubiquitous shower cap as the ideal protection when painting their home (31%) or dying their hair (23%), with a stingy 7% stating it as the perfect Christmas stocking present, but most alarmingly, three people even admitted to using it as emergency contraception.

The Ďmysteriousí mini bar pricing system
And whilst 61% of those surveyed admitted to avoiding room service due to the exorbitant additional costs they know this service adds to their hotel bill, many of those surveyed also queried the extortionate prices they are regularly expected to fork out for a cold drink or quick snack taken from the hotel room mini bar. With research revealing a Mars bar to cost anywhere between 70p and £2 despite an average retail value of 45p, itís easy to see why more and more hotel guests are questioning exactly what theyíre paying for.


The demise of the trouser press
And when it comes to the trouser press, despite the fact that 1,950 of the UK's traditional hotels still install these in their rooms at a cost of £66 per trouser press, 85% of those surveyed admitted to having no clue as to how to use the contraption, with 43% of those who had taken the time to read the instructions stating their disappointment with the results of their efforts.

Travelodge, prides itself on providing an easy, hassle free experience, ensuring it offers guests everything they need and nothing they donít, without complication and unnecessary Ďfrillsí. The logic of this approach is that it translates into lower room rates for consumers. Room rates start from £25 and have to be booked online at www.travelodge.co.uk. (Subject to availability) Rooms can also be booked on 08700 850 950.

Travelodge has 246 hotels across the United Kingdom, located conveniently in most city centres,

Travelodge has just recently opened 2 new locations in central London. Travelodge London Farringdon and Travelodge London Islington. Room rates start from £45.

Travelodge offers double and family rooms (A family rooms caters for 2 adults and 2 children under the age of 16). All rooms are en-suite, with luxury King Size beds, colour TV and free tea and coffee making facilities.
Travelodge was the first low-cost hotel brand to launch in the UK in 1985.
In 2003 Compass Group plc, owners of Travelodge since 2000, sold the company to Permira Investment Fund Managers. Permira has ambitious plans for Travelodge and is confident that it has an exciting future as the UKís leading hotel brand.

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