In preparation of his new role as chief executive, on 1 July, Guy Parsons, Travelodge’s current managing director, has undertaken a company review and has decided to resign from the BHA.
Parsons says: “The BHA is a traditional body which represents the full hospitality sector from B&B’s to large corporate organisations. We see an opportunity to transform the hotel industry in the UK, and believe that we can do this best by representing ourselves rather than lobbying via the BHA.”
“We have a strong in-house PR team and over the last couple of years we have championed a number of successful campaigns as diverse as ’Say no to Bed Tax’ to the ’Save our Seaside’ campaign (which focussed on the need to revitalise costal economies). More recently we organised an industry wide coalition that called on the Mayor of London not to introduce his proposed hotel development tax.”
The move comes after the brand recently unveiled a £10m marketing strategy designed to bring “warmth” to its brand and returned to television advertising after a 20-year gap.
Parsons says the brand is looking to expand and feels it no longer fits the BHA’s membership base, as a key competitor in the hotel market.
He says: “We have an aggressive growth plan in place, which will more than double the size of Travelodge hotels over the next ten years. We plan to do this by building new hotels and purchase existing struggling hotels and turning them into Travelodge properties. I think it’s entirely inappropriate that we should be part of the BHA at a time when we could be acquiring other members’ businesses.”
“The BHA has a role to play in representing the hospitality sector but we believe that our interests are now better served outside the organisation. We are an industry that punches below our weight. Therefore we will continue to work with other leading businesses within the industry, to ensure that the Government truly understands the tax and regulation barriers our sector faces.”
Read our brand profile of Travelodge here