The outlet is the UK’s second most popular visitor attraction after Buckingham Palace for Chinese visitors.
This hotel opening boosts Travelodge’s portfolio to approximately 530 properties.
The 53-room hotel is the company’s fourth local council partnership development. For this deal, Cherwell District Council has funded the construction of the hotel on council land and Travelodge has undertaken a 25-year rental agreement to operate the hotel.
The hotel was officially opened by Paul Harvey, Travelodge managing director, Property, Cherwell District Council, chairman, Councillor Melanie Magee and Katy Wang, Chinese Tutor, Oxford University.
Annually, Bicester Village attracts six million visitors with over half being from China. Interestingly, Travelodge has experienced a 61% increase in web traffic from China since it launched its Bicester hotel on its website.
To welcome the influx of Chinese customers to the hotel, it has enrolled the help of Katy Wang, Chinese Tutor at Oxford University to teach its Bicester hotel team Chinese etiquette and key welcome phrases in Mandarin.
Also as part of its service, Travelodge is trialling noodle kettles, a nifty portable kettle that cooks noodles in minutes. The hotel chain has also created a bespoke Oriental snack box, which contains: a packet of flavoured noodles, a bowl, chop sticks, green tea bag and a fortune cookie that customers can buy from reception for just £3.00. Green tea has also been introduced in rooms.
Commenting on the opening, Paul Harvey said: “Our innovative development partnership with local councils is going very well. We are delighted to open our fourth local authority hotel with Cherwell District Council and be a key part of their Bicester regeneration programme. The forward thinking council has recognised the opportunity to add a Travelodge hotel into their town whilst making a good return on their investment.
“With Bicester Village welcoming a growing number of Chinese visitors and the strong demand that we are experiencing in web traffic from China, it’s vital that we make our Chinese customers feel welcome. That’s why we have introduced little things like a word or two in Mandarin and a way to enjoy familiar food in the comfort of their room. These little changes can make the world of difference to someone’s stay.”