Apr142015

What if Travelodge UK joined Wyndham Rewards?

Travelodge is a strange brand. Travelodge has over 400 hotels in the USA and Canada as part of Wyndham Rewards. Travelodge UK is an even larger economy hotel chain at more than 500 hotels, mostly in the UK. Travelodge UK is not part of Wyndham Rewards and currently is an economy hotel chain owned by Goldman Sachs and partners since 2012. The former owners of Travelodge UK had financial debts of nearly one billion dollars, resulting in restructured financing in 2012 that placed the hotel chain in bank ownership. Travelodge UK is in prime time selling opportunity with an estimated valuation of $1.4 billion, after a year when profits surged 63%.

BBCTravelodge sale imminent as profits surge 63%.

Travelodge was the first budget brand chain in the UK when it launched in 1985. In 30 years the brand has grown to over 500 hotels in the UK with hotels in Barcelona and Madrid added in 2013. The brand completed a $100 million room makeover in the past two years.

Travelodge UK homepage

Travelodge in the UK is an entirely different hotel brand from the Wyndham Rewards Travelodge in the USA and Canada. Travelodge UK has more than 500 budget hotels concentrated in the UK and no hotel loyalty program.

Travelodge in the USA and Canada is a hotel brand in Wyndham Rewards hotel loyalty program with more than 400 hotels firmly in the economy hotels market segment.

What if Travelodge UK joined Wyndham Rewards?

Note: This is purely speculation on my part with no evidence to support this as a likely outcome.

So, imagine if Wyndham International buys Travelodge UK and adds the properties to Wyndham Rewards. Recent announcements indicate big changes coming to Wyndham Rewards and all hotels worldwide will offer room rewards at a uniform 15,000 points per night.

Loyalty Traveler – Big changes for Wyndham Rewards May 11 and I redeemed all my points yesterday (March 31, 2015).

Travelodge UK would more than double the size of Travelodge brand if added to the USA and Canada portfolio for Wyndham Rewards members.

Travelodge UK is London’s largest hotel brand

Would the opportunity to book any of 59 Travelodge hotels in London and a choice of hundreds of other economy segment hotels around the UK at 15,000 points per night entice you to spend more time in budget brands on paid stays and award nights?

Travelodge UK London hotel rates July 7-10, 2015

Travelodge UK July 7-10 rates

Average hotel price for Central London appears to be around 90 GBP or $135 USD for July 2015 dates after checking more than one dozen Travelodge UK hotels.

The new Wyndham Rewards minimum 1,000 points per stay earn rate means 15 stays earns a free night or $1,500 in spend at USA hotels. You can probably stay 15 nights on one night stays at Days Inn and Travelodge and other economy Wyndham brands in the USA for $750 and earn 15,000 points.

Expedia.com does not even list prices for Travelodge UK hotels and offers no hotel review ratings.

TripAdvisor has some decent reviews of Travelodge UK properties I checked for London area.

TripAdvisor Travelodge London Park Royal reviews

TripAdvisor Travelodge UK London Park Royal earns 4.5/5 circles with 50 reviews.

Hotel Ownership means little to consumers. Brand affiliation to a loyalty program is what matters.

The world of hotel ownership matters little to me and most hotel guests. One of the more fascinating sides of the hotel industry is the relationship between hotel owners and the hotel brand industry. From hotel industry conferences I have attended, my impression is hotel owners view loyalty programs as necessary for marketing purposes and the effect of drawing guests to a specific hotel. Owners tend to complain about fees paid for property branding requirements and loyalty program promotions that cost them additional money or lost revenue on free award nights.

It means something to say I stayed at a Park Hyatt or a Ritz Carlton or a Comfort Inn or a Travelodge. For me, this indicates a hotel loyalty program opportunity with Hyatt Gold Passport, Marriott Rewards, Choice Privileges or Wyndham Rewards.

Travelodge UK up for sale may not have any impact on the hotel loyalty program scene if the new buyer does not already operate a loyalty program or desire to be part of a hotel loyalty program.

I look at this Travelodge UK sale as an opportunity for some global hotel chain to swoop in and buy up a 500+ hotel economy brand focused on the UK travel market. And that could present an opportunity for travel across the UK earning and burning hotel loyalty points.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »