Way ahead for Peak?

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Millions of pounds worth of investment may be on its way to the Peak District after a major hotel firm has decided that holidays in the UK’s national parks are the future for tourism.

Travelodge, the UK’s fastest growing hotel chain, this week announced a 37 hotel, £135 million, National Park expansion push – in response to high customer demand for hotels near to the UK’s top rural locations.

And the firm is looking for sites in Buxton, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Bakewell and Matlock where they can create new hotels.

With the Staycation break being more popular than ever, the growing trend for Britons to holiday on British shores has been a strong revenue generator for the hotel chain.

Traditionally, coastal locations have been the most popular destinations for Britons holidaying at home – but over the last 12 months Travelodge has seen a surge in more Britons taking a rural break.

The company’s hotels which are within a wide radius of the main National Parks have achieved high occupancy levels far earlier than normal this year.

In response to this growing trend, the Travelodge property team has been instructed to heavily focus their efforts on finding 37 suitable sites near to the UK’s 15 National Parks.

And as the Peak District attracts 8.5 million visitors a year, Travelodge decided to kick-start its National Parks development drive by buying a hotel in Glossop. Located on Victoria Street, the 62-room hotel is situated above a JD Wetherspoon’s pub – in a former mill building.

Travelodge say that on average, each of their guests spends £36 a day while staying in an area, and that a 100-bed hotel puts £1 million a year into a local economy.

Guy Parsons, Travelodge Chief Executive, said: “The Staycation break is here to stay, and more Britons are holidaying at home now than ever before.

“Traditionally Britons have opted for a coastal or city break but as more Britons explore the UK they are rediscovering new holiday hotspots, and as a result, we have seen a significant surge in rural breaks.”

The hotel size will range from 30 rooms – Travelodge’s new ‘Metro’ style hotel – to over 100 bedrooms ,depending on the location and building requirements. This expansion will create over 500 jobs across the country.

l Clare O’ Connor from the the UK Association of National Park Authorities, said: “National Parks are here for everyone to enjoy, whether for business or pleasure, and this year thousands of people have been enjoying these areas for their ‘Staycations’, enjoying the great local produce, country pubs and restaurants and beautiful countryside.”