TRAVELODGE intends to open a hotel near the BIC after identifying Bournemouth as one of 10 key locations for investment.

The company announced a £100million expansion plan to open hotels close to the UK’s largest conference and events venues.

It said it had a Bournemouth site in mind but could not reveal where it was. It said its plans for Bournemouth would bring £7m into the town through third party investors, creating 30 jobs.

The announcement came at the opening of Telford Travelodge, the company’s 567th hotel,by Telford International Centre.

The BIC is the third location named in the announcement, after the ACC Liverpool & Echo Arena and London’s Alexandra Palace.

Paul Harvey, Travelodge’s managing director for property, said: “Britain’s events sector is growing from strength to strength. However, there is a shortage of good quality and low cost accommodation close to major event venues such as the Bournemouth International Centre.

“Therefore we have identified Bournemouth as one of ten key 10 conference and event destinations where we would like to open a fourth hotel in the town close to the BIC. This expansion collectively represents an investment of £100m for third party investors and a job creation of 300 jobs.

“Our three Travelodge hotels in Bournemouth are literally booked out as soon as event dates are released and value seeking attendees will travel as far as Poole, Christchurch and Lyndhurst to sleep whilst attending an event in Bournemouth.”

Andy Woodland, vice-chairman of Bournemouth Accommodation and Hotels Association (BAHA), said both Travelodge and Premier Inn could be assets to the town.

“I think they’ve both upped their game,” he said.

“Gone are the days when they were perceived as a lower class hotel. They both offer good beds and very good rooms and if I’m away for one night, it’s I would probably go for them first before going to an older style hotel.”

He added: “I think really as long as we can lose some of the old hotels we should be looking at this as a positive for the town.

“I hope that if people come for one or two nights in a Travelodge, they would enjoy Bournemouth so much they would use other hotels for maybe a longer short break, three or four nights, then bring their family.

“I would like them to become part of the town. That’s the only thing – they need to become part of the tourism community.”

BH Live, which runs the BIC and other council leisure venues, said events at the BIC and Pavilion had generated an estimated £250m in local economic benefit over the past five years. This helped to sustain 4,500 jobs in retail, accommodation, tourism and transport, it said.