Travelodge is increasing its UK marketing budget – which stood at £2.7m in 2006 – by 20% this year as part of a £3.5bn drive to open 40 hotels each year until 2020.
The budget hotel chain will appoint a new head of marketing in the coming weeks to replace Rachel Dawson who moved to Midland Mainline last month. It will also create a host of new marketing jobs during the next year to support its expansion.
Chief operating officer Guy Parsons says: “We will continually need more marketers as we expect to have a database of 1 million customers by the end of the year. We will invest solidly in marketing in the next few years as our US research shows only the strong brands survive.
“We already have awareness levels of 96% and believe we can be on par with one of the superbrands like Tesco by the 2012 Olympics,” he says.
Travelodge is investing £1m in website development and press, outdoor and radio advertising. This year it ran a TV trial in the Granada region and is considering rolling out a national campaign in the light of the results.
The company, which was bought by Dubai International Capital for £712m last year, revealed plans to triple the size of its estate to almost 1,000 hotels with a total of 70,000 rooms by 2020. At the time it said this would involve adding 4,000 rooms a year.
By the end of the expansion, the group plans to have 10% of the UK hotel market.