Cruise boom drives hotel chain to find port stopovers

A boom in cruises setting off from Scotland has prompted budget hotel chain Travelodge to look for sites for new £6 million hotels in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Travelodge is on the hunt for ten more hotel sites close to cruise ports. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Travelodge is on the hunt for ten more hotel sites close to cruise ports. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Travelodge announced it was looking for a further ten new hotel sites close to the UK’s busiest cruise ports in response to the growing cruise market.

The company said the expansion represented an investment of £60m and will create around 300 new jobs.

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The ten port locations include Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as Harwich, Hull, Liverpool, Newcastle, Poole, Portsmouth, Southampton and Tilbury.

Almost two million cruises were taken by British holidaymakers last year, according to the annual UK and Ireland cruise industry report.

This 6 per cent year-on-year increase is a record high of two million cruise passengers based on Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) data.

During the same period, Travelodge’s 32 hotels already located in the vicinity of Britain’s busiest ports experienced “a significant increase in occupancy” as a result of the record number of Britons taking to the waves.

The company announced its Scottish plans as it officially opened its first hotel in the channel port of Dover, Kent – the 560th hotel in the budget accommodation chain.

Travelodge property director Tony O’Brien said: “This opening cements our presence at the UK’s top ten busiest cruise ship ports.

“With more Britons taking to the waves, our port-based hotels are benefiting from holidaymakers stopping over before embarking on and returning from their voyage.

“The cruise boom is still underway and predicted to grow from strength to strength, therefore we are getting on board now and looking for ten new hotel sites at UK’s growing ports.”

Travelodge had previously identified Scotland as a major area for expansion, with the company last year announcing plans for 21 new hotels to open north of the Border.

Targeted locations have previously included Ardrossan in North Ayrshire, Aviemore in the Highlands, Galashiels in the Borders, Kirkwall on Orkney and Lerwick on Shetland.

Loch Lomond, Montrose in Angus, Oban in Argyll and Bute, and Pitlochry in Perthshire were among other mooted sites.

Travelodge had flagged its intention to double its portfolio of hotels in Glasgow.

The group expects to open 20 new hotels across the UK this year, creating 550 jobs.