New Travelodge CEO wants to rebuild relationships with landlords

Craig Bonnar Travelodge

Travelodge has named Craig Bonnar as its permanent CEO.

Bonnar has spent the last few months running the company in an interim role after the departure of his predecessor, Peter Gowers, at the end of 2020.

The new appointment follows a number of other changes at the business, signalling its desire to put a difficult 2020 behind it.

Like most other hospitality businesses, Travelodge was hit by the drop in travel and was forced to temporarily close the majority of its hotels for a period. During that time it also battled with landlords over rent, eventually winning approval for a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in June.

As well as picking Bonnar for the permanent role, Travelodge also secured the services of leisure and hospitality veteran Martin Robinson as its new chairman.

“I take on this new role with great ambition for the group and I am looking forward to working with the leadership team to build upon the brand’s strong foundation with Travelodge being well positioned to benefit from recovery as restrictions are lifted and demand builds,” Bonnar said.  

“Our immediate priorities are to reopen all our hotels and resume full trading, continue to rebuild  relationships with our landlords and plan for the future.”

Bonnar joined Travelodge as chief operating officer in 2017, he spent more than 20 years at supermarket retailer Asda.

Travelodge recently announced that it expects to open 17 new hotels across the UK in 2021, growing its hotel network to 597 locations in the UK, Ireland and Spain. The new properties are being developed by third party investors with an approximate investment value of £175 million.