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Press releases

TRAVELODGE INVESTS £½ BILLION INTO EXPANSION PROGRAMME

24th Feb 2004


Travelodge, the UK’s only low-cost hotel chain, is investing £½ billion into its biggest growth programme to date, making it the largest expansion programme within the low-cost hotel sector. The programme includes:

· 20 new Travelodge openings within the UK
· Expansion into Spain -Travelodge will be the first UK budget hotel brand to launch in Spain

· An extensive refurbishment programme where 6000 bedrooms will be refreshed with a brand new colour scheme

· Redesigning reception areas in certain Travelodge sites
· Developing new Bar Cafes into certain Travelodge sites
· Introduction of a new pre-pay, on-demand video, phone and broadband Internet service within all Travelodge sites within the UK, Ireland and Spain
· Introduction of a new pricing model – (see enclosed Tennertastic press release for latest pricing offer)

Grant Hearn, Chief Executive Officer, for Travelodge, said: “Travelodge is now the UK’s only low-cost hotel chain. We offer our guests everything they need and nothing they don’t, so that we can ensure we keep our costs low. In order to stay ahead and become the UK’s favourite place to stay, we are heavily investing in our on-going aggressive growth plan. This will enable Travelodge to continue to lead the way within the low-cost hotel chain sector.

“As a business we are performing ahead of our budget, room sales are growing at 15% and Internet bookings are up by 200%. Our plans are to open 6000 new rooms by 2006 of which 3500 will be located within Central London. We have the power to do this as we have the right people, we are independent and are a totally focused modern business which is not tied to a hotel or leisure conglomerate”.

New Openings
Travelodge is planning to open 20 new lodges this year throughout the UK, which is around 1400 bedrooms. Locations are:

Harrogate March Leatherhead May
Leicester May Cambridge June
Battersea Extension Aug Leeds Bradford Aug
Barrow Sep Bournemouth Sep
Bedford Sep Buckingham Oct
Berwick Oct Southend Oct
Livingston Nov Scunthorpe Nov
Colchester Nov Coventry Nov
Lutterworth Nov Glenrothes Nov
Harlow Dec Wolverhampton Dec

Travelodge’s expansion programme is on-going and the Development Team are constantly looking out for new locations. The plans for 2005 and 2006 are to accelerate to at least 40 new openings within the UK at city centre, edge of town, airport and leisure park locations.

Spain Opening
Travelodge will be the first UK budget hotel brand to launch in Spain this year, when it opens in Las Rozas in May and Madrid in October. Room rates are 60 Euros, which is fantastic value for Brits holidaying in Spain and for local residents when planning business and leisure trips.

Refurbishment Programme
The refurbishment programme will include refreshing 6,000 bedrooms by introducing a new modern colour scheme. One wall will be painted orange; another latte and remaining walls will be apricot white. A new duvet design is being introduced to complement the new colour scheme.

Customer research has identified the new colour scheme is a great success. Findings showed customers felt the new colours were warm and welcoming.
Also within the plan, bathrooms will be refreshed and lodge reception areas will be redesigned. Earlier this year Little Chef and Travelodge separated into individual businesses and all the lodges that were part of the Little Chef partnership will be refurbished according to Travelodge specification.
Additional Bar Cafes will be added into certain lodges.

The refurbishment programme will also include updating existing operational functions such as bringing the maintenance helpdesk function in-house and seeking maintenance contractors within the North and South regions.

Travelodge have worked with Conran Design and Arnold & Bolingbroke (Research Agency) to develop the refurbishment programme. Work will start from February and continue throughout 2004. The programme has been split into three phases. Phase one is expected to be complete by the end of April.

TALIA Service
Travelodge is the first UK budget hotel brand to launch TALIA (Travel & Leisure Interactive Applications) a pre-pay, on-demand video, phone and broadband Internet service. It will be rolled out to all Travelodge sites within the UK, Ireland and Spain from February.

Pricing Model
Travelodge will be the first low-cost accommodation provider to develop a pricing model similar to the budget airlines so that it can offer its customers the cheapest price at all times. Travelodge has just purchased a new IT software package worth over £1 million, restructured the revenue management department and appointed a new Director of Revenue Management – Shona Fraser from the Hilton group, to drive forward the pricing and revenue management strategy.
Ends
For further information please contact:

Shakila Ahmed
PR & Communications Manager
Direct Line: 0121 521 6638
Mobile: 07802 702 499
Email: Shakila.ahmed@travelodge.co.uk

Travelodge Press Office at Cohn & Wolfe 0207 331 5400

Notes to Editor

· Image of the new bedroom colour scheme and Travelodge buildings are available upon request. Please contact Shakila Ahmed on 0121 521 6638.
· Travelodge currently has over 240 locations throughout the UK and Ireland. These are conveniently located in most major UK cities, on all major motorways and 'A' roads.
· Travelodge offers an online booking service at www.travelodge.co.uk and also via telephone on 08700 850 950.
· Competitively priced, Travelodge room rates start from just £30.00, per room, per night and a family room can sleep 2 adults and 2 children under the age of 16 years old. Prices are per room rather than per person. All rooms are en-suite, with luxury king size beds and free tea and coffee making facilities.
· Travelodge was the first UK lodge 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 UK's leading hotel brand.

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