TRAVELODGE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE STRATEGY PAYING DIVIDENDS
Travelodge, the UK’s largest independent hotel group celebrating its 30th year in business, is starting to reap the benefits of its extensive modernisation programme, listening to what its customers want and acting on that feedback.
Room occupancy rates (up from 72 per cent to 74.5 per cent), average room rate, up by 11.4 per cent, and total revenues, up by 17.9 per cent are all testament to the hotel group’s determination to improve the customer experience
Peter Gowers, Travelodge Chief Executive commented: “Customers are responding well to the upgraded quality levels driven by our £100m modernisation programme. Businesses are choosing Travelodge in ever larger numbers and families have welcomed the introduction of separate beds for children.”
“Our development momentum is beginning to accelerate. We opened 5 hotels in the first half of the year and we expect to open a further 45 over the next 24 months. We have already exchanged contracts for more new rooms in the first half of 2015 than we did in the whole of 2014. Boosted by our strong trading performance and the attractions of the value segment, major developers and financial institutions are showing their confidence in the future of new Travelodge.”
Peter continued: “Britain continues to be a nation of value seekers and the value hotel market continues to be the fastest growing part of the UK hotel industry. New Travelodge is well positioned and we expect our strong trading momentum to continue into the second half of the year.
“Significant further growth from business customers was the principal driver of improved performance. The increasing appeal of our modernised estate led to occupancy up 2.4 percentage points, to 74.4% (2014: 72.0%). Together with effective yield management this improved performance resulted in an 11.4% increase in our average room rates to £48.19 (2014: £43.27). Total revenues were up 17.9% to £261.0m.
“In this our 30th anniversary year, we are delivering on our new Travelodge strategy. We continue to invest in the quality and consistency of our hotels. The new Travelodge Dreamer® beds have been installed in every UK hotel and 92% of our UK guest rooms are now modernised with our new look and feel. Average Trip Advisor scores for our modernised hotels are now greater than four out of five stars.
“The Travelodge brand continues to strengthen. Customer reaction to our new ‘That’s Travelodgical’ campaign has been excellent and brand recognition is now approximately 90%. Travelodge.co.uk now receives an average one million visits per week with a booking made on average every three seconds.
“We launched our new mobile app in May, featuring a new tool to allow customers to find the nearest Travelodge while travelling, and get immediate walking or driving instructions to it.
“More than 85,000 customers have already downloaded the app and booking conversion rates for customers using the mobile app are significantly ahead of previous mobile website levels. With a combination of our strong brand and excellent web presence, approximately 90% of all bookings now come via our direct channels.”