Travelodge to go head to head with Premier Travel Inn

Hotel News - 27/10/2005

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The airport hotels market is heating up, as two of the UK's main operators head toward a standoff.

Budget airport hotels group Travelodge is planning on applying the pressure on rival operator Whitbread and its Premier Travel Inn range by making 113,000 rooms available at £26 per night.

This marks the reversal of a recent trend in budget airport hotel pricing, which has seen room prices tend to rise rather than fall.

'This commitment to low pricing makes Travelodge increasingly unique amongst our competitors,' Grant Hearn, group CEO of Travelodge owner Permira, told AFX News.

He added: 'With continual price hikes at Premier Travel Inn, we can only question their commitment to remaining within the budget sector?'

Whitbread added further spice to the battle, hitting back at Travelodge by questioning the quality of its service, and vowing to press ahead with its own expansion plans.

'Despite the London bombings, Premier Travel Inns occupancy at 81.2 per cent still remains the highest in the industry,' Whitbread's chief executive Alan Parker responded.

He added: 'Maybe you should look at Travelodge's occupancy figures which are around ten per cent lower than the industry average to see why they feel the need to drop their prices.'

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