Global hotel chain Tune Hotels - part of the Tune Group, the private investment group of Tony Fernandes, founder and Group chief executive of low-cost airline AirAsia - has unveiled plans to open up to 25 new properties by 2020, amounting to a further £200m in the UK.
The announcement comes as the select-service hotel group opens the doors to its sixth UK property in Newcastle this week, and sees the UK as its strategic hub for expansion into Europe.
Tune Hotels launched in Malaysia in 2007 with a business model based on the low-cost airline structure, with great value rooms focused on offering high-quality basics – excellent beds, powerful showers, central locations, a clean environment, and 24-hour security – with guests paying extra only for the facilities and services they use.
Prices in the UK start from £25 a night for a double or twin room, and regular promotional offers can see rooms on sale from as little as £10.
“When we started the business, we polled 1,000 low cost airline passengers on what was important to them when staying in a $30 a night hotel,” said Tune Hotels Group chief Mark Lankester.
“Their responses shaped our five core principles and also highlighted that people only wanted to pay for what they used, rather than for all those non-essential items that come as part and parcel of the typical hotel room price.
“The Tune Hotels’ select-service concept was born and today we have welcomed over seven million guests to our hotels in nine countries across the world.”
The UK was Tune Hotels’ first expansion outside Asia and in 2010 London was chosen for being not only one of the world’s leading tourism centres to trial the concept to see if it was viable outside of its home market, but also for the strong emotional and business ties that the founders and management had with the country.
Today the chain has welcomed more than 750,000 guests at one of its five established hotels in London (Westminster, Kings Cross, Paddington, and Liverpool Street) and Edinburgh, and sees its new 104 room property open in Newcastle.
A further hotel is due to open in Canary Wharf in February 2015, and work has just started in Liverpool which will open in July next year.
“Our aim is to have a further 25 hotels across the UK in the next five years representing a significant investment of over £200 million,” continues Lankester.
“As an entrepreneurial company, it is not about being the biggest: we are an urban fun brand, ideally suited to city centres where guests want to get out and about to explore or need a central location if on business or leisure that won’t break the bank.
“We will be targeting the major business cities across the UK such as London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds, as well as looking at key university cities where our concept has proved very popular.”