Today, at the opening of the £10 million, new London Clapham Junction Travelodge hotel, the UK’s first budget hotelier announced that it is seeking to open a further three hotels within the Wandsworth area in response to the ‘Nappy Valley’ effect*. During the last 12 months, Travelodge hotels located in the South West district of London which includes Fulham and Battersea have experienced a new trend of consumers coming through their doors. In the past, the hotels were full of business travellers and tourists but now local residents are taking advantage of the low cost rooms and booking-in visiting grandparents and family members due to lack of space at home.
Tony O’Brien, Travelodge UK Development Director said: “Our Fulham and Battersea hotels enjoy enormous success right throughout the year, and the assumption was that this was primarily due to business customers as well as tourists.
“However, our hotel staff are now saying that over a third of customers tell them they are actually in London to visit their children and grandchildren.
“With so many young people in London, especially in Nappy Valley, starting their families whilst living in small flats and houses, the only option for Granny and Granddad to come and visit is to stay in a nearby hotel. It is a remarkable trend, but one that we are poised to capitalise on as part of our wider growth story in London.”
Just last month, Travelodge opened a 90-room hotel in Balham and the opening of its new 84-room Clapham Junction hotel today means that Travelodge has now added 174 affordable hotel rooms in Wandsworth this year, representing a £17.3 million investment for the area.
These hotel openings reinforce Travelodge’s position as the biggest budget hotel brand in London, with 54 hotels and over 7,000 rooms, representing a 4% share of the Capitals’ hotel market. However, the demand that Nappy Valley is creating means that there is room for further growth within the area, so the company is on the look out for at least another three further locations within the Wandsworth area; Battersea Old Town, Clapham Common and Clapham Old Town/Lavender Hill.
So far this year, Travelodge has opened 30 hotels, representing 2,670 rooms, throughout the UK – 11 of which are in London. Furthermore, the company will open a further eight hotels in the UK in the lead-up to Christmas. All together, this represents a total investment of more than £200m, with over 300 new jobs created in these hotels.
*Nappy Valley is a term applied to a specific area of Battersea, between Clapham Common and Wandsworth Common, South London with a “cafe culture” of middle-class, affluent families