Published: 12:04, 30 July 2019
| Updated: 13:43, 30 July 2019
A popular hotel brand is seeking new sites in Kent seaside towns as it celebrates its 20th year of operating in coastal locations.
Travelodge revealed its new target list this week, which contained five Kent towns that they hope to move into.
The chain is attempting to open 26 new seaside properties as part of a "coastal expansion programme" on the anniversary of its 20 years in Brighton - its first coastal branch.
Overall the project could raise £165 million for third party investors and create around 650 new jobs.
One of Travelodge's newest additions - built in Ashford's Elwick Place scheme - opened in January following £5 million of construction work, with a £6 million Travelodge set to open later this year in Sittingbourne.
Tourism agency Visit Kent has previously identified a shortfall in hotel provision around the county.
The firm is seeking to work with local authorities, enabling them to "utilise their existing assets, create jobs, generate income, and help to regenerate land in strategically important locations".
Potential locations involved in their Local Authority Development Programme - which uses specialised agreements with unique funding structures - would be built on surplus council-owned land.
Following completion, councils can opt to retain ownership of the land and receive an annual rent into the Council’s revenue budget or to sell the hotel with Travelodge as its operator.
Tony O Brien, Travelodge's UK development director said: “We are seeing the rebirth of British seaside resorts and coastal towns as a result of Britons changing holiday habits.
"We are becoming a strong staycation nation that likes to take lots of short breaks throughout the year rather than a traditional two week block holiday.
"To support this growing trend, we are looking to enter new markets and extend our network of coastal location hotels so that we can offer more choice and greater value to the modern leisure traveller.
"There are significant regeneration and modernisation projects taking place in seaside towns and cities across the UK, and we have identified 26 coastal areas that could benefit from a Travelodge hotel.
"We will kick start our expansion programme by writing to the Local Authority in each region to see if we can play a pivotal role in their regeneration programme.
"Investing in a low-cost hotel like Travelodge is an increasingly attractive choice, as it draws visitors, creates jobs and helps boost the local economy.”
Research suggests that 45% of Britons will visit the coast for their summer holidays this year.
More by this authorCharlie Harman