Pod hotels are the newest type of hotel accommodation to be introduced to the UK.
Developed in Japan, these small, ‘no frills’, pod-style rooms fit all the usual mod cons into half the size of a standard budget hotel room, but for less than half the nightly rate.
With the budget hotel sector accounting for 25 per cent of the UK’s total, hotels which can appeal to budget travellers are likely to see huge returns.
Could pod hotels be part of the answer?
New research by YouGov shows that when asked which hotel chains would suit pod-style rooms as part of their offering, over half of regular hotel visitors said Travelodge (56 per cent) and Premier Inn (52 per cent).
A further third thought that pod-style rooms would work well as an offering from Express at Holiday Inn (32 per cent).
Over half of regular hotel visitors have stayed in a budget hotel (57 per cent) with those who are more affluent just as likely as those who are less affluent to stay in a budget hotel (56 per cent and 58 per cent respectively).
While only a small minority of budget travellers have stayed in a premium (16 per cent) or mid-range hotel (28 per cent), over two fifths of premium hotel-users have also stayed in budget hotel (46 per cent) or a mid-range hotel (40 per cent), showing that budget hotels are not just for those counting their pennies.
Interestingly, business travellers were the group least loyal to their usual form of accommodation.
Well over half of business travellers who usually stay in budget hotels were interested in using pod hotels as an alternative (58 per cent), as two fifths of premium hotel stayers (41 per cent).
Commenting on the research, Caroline Gaskin, consulting director at YouGov, said: “Although originally a Japanese invention, pod hotels could bring great change to the UK budget hotel industry.
“For those who are looking for simplicity and comfort within a budget, pod hotels really do tick all the boxes.
“Our research shows that hotel pods have broad appeal.
“It’ll be interesting to see which of the popular budget hotel chains is able to capitalise on the pod hotel opportunity.”