Travelodge expands in Spain

Madrid, Spain. Image © Jorge Fernández Salas / Unsplash
Plans by Travelodge to expand its UK budget hotel brand into Spain have taken a leap forward, as it opened five rebranded properties recently acquired from French group Louvre.

Budget hotel brand Travelodge has opened five new hotels in Spain, as a clear sign of intent to grow a significant presence in the country.

The new hotels are in Alicante Puerto, Barcelona del Valles, Madrid Alcala de Henares, Malaga Aeropuerto and Murcia and are five of a total of six acquired by the company in April for conversion. The hotels were all previously Campanile branded, and were acquired from French group Louvre. Five sites were freehold, with a sixth acquired on a long leasehold basis.

Doubling a presence in Spain

The additions mean Travelodge now has 11 hotels open and operating in Spain, where it has been operating hotels for 20 years. The group’s first hotel in Spain opened in the Torrelaguna district of Madrid in 2004. But its latest move significantly picks up the expansion pace.

The rollout of the brand in Spain is being led by the company behind the UK chain of the same name – and is distinctly separate from two other companies that also use the Travelodge name on their properties. In the US and Canada, global giant Wyndham uses the brand, having more than 400 hotels across the continent. There are also Asia Pacific businesses using the Travelodge name, with properties currently in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

The UK business, with a substantial UK presence, has long eyed Spain as a potentially attractive second market. It has identified an initial target list of 20 locations where it sees an opportunity to offer quality, branded economy hotel accommodation in a national market where there are many family-owned hotels, and a lack of branded hotel offerings.

The list includes a greater presence in existing markets of Barcelona and Madrid, as well as Valencia, Alicante, Bilbao, Cádiz, Málaga, Palma Mallorca, San Sebastián, Seville, Benidorm, Córdoba, Gerona, Granada, Las Palmas De Gran Canaria, Santiago de Compostela, Santander, Tarragona, Valladolid and Zaragoza.

Buying as well as leasing

At the time of the acquisition, Travelodge CEO Jo Boydell gave a flavour of the group’s plans for expansion in Spain, saying: “We recognise there are significant ongoing opportunities for our business, with the potential to offer good value and quality accommodation in many more locations across the country. Last year we identified the top 20 key markets to open a new hotel in Spain, where there is currently a shortage of good quality, low cost, branded accommodation to meet the needs of business and leisure guests.”

Travelodge has until recently built its UK, Ireland and Spanish business based around a model of leasing hotels. However, in the last year, the company’s backers have acquired a significant portfolio of its operating hotels in the UK, and the acquisition of the Louvre properties in Spain indicates a different approach. By acquiring hotels, Travelodge has the opportunity to move faster, in its aim to grow market presence in Spain.