At the opening of its new Southampton West Quay hotel, which is located yards away from one of the UK’s leading Ports (Southampton Port), Travelodge has announced that it is looking for 14 new hotel sites in key Port locations across Britain in a bid to capitalise on the cruise boom. These 14 new hotels represent an investment of £84 million and will create 350 new jobs. Southampton West Quay Travelodge is a 94-room property which represents an investment of £6 million and has created 30 new jobs. This opening has boosted Travelodge’s presence in Southampton to three hotels.
The transformation of the UK ports industry during the last ten years has created a thriving and highly competitive industry with the number of people taking trips from UK ports rising year on year. Today the UK is the number one cruise market in Europe and the second largest in the world. Figures from the Department for Transport highlight that number of UK International Sea Passengers rose to 22.4million in 2013.
Mediterranean and Northern Europe cruises are the most popular amongst British holidaymakers. In 2013, one in three UK passengers chose Northern Europe as their cruise destination, with Norway being the stand out destination. In addition 49% of UK passengers started their cruises at a British port in 2013 and this is forecast to overtake fly cruises.
Travelodge has 516 hotels in the UK, Ireland and Spain and 48 of its properties are located in the vicinity of Britain’s busiest Ports. As a result of the record number of Britons taking to the waves, these 48 Port based Travelodge hotels have reported a 9% increase in occupancy during the last 12 months.
Paul Harvey, Travelodge Managing Director, Property said: “As a result of more Britons taking to the waves, we have also experienced a boom at Travelodge. Our Port based hotels have seen a 9% rise in occupancy as Britons kick start their dream sea holiday by staying over in a Travelodge hotel prior to early embarkation.
“To support this growing holiday trend, we are looking for a further 14 new hotel sites at UK’s busiest Port locations. This includes another site in Southampton, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Liverpool, Newcastle and Harwich.”
James Cooper, Chief Executive Officer of Associated British Ports, said: “The UK’s ports are going through something of a renaissance at the moment with significant investments taking place across the country. One of the fastest growing segments has been ferry traffic as people increasingly appreciate that ferries offer better value and less hassle than the alternatives. Also add the extraordinary growth in the cruise industry in recent years and it is not surprising that demand for hotels in our ports is also increasing.”