By Martin Kelly, Editor, Travel Trends

DEMAND for budget accommodation is "flying", according to Rachel Argaman, CEO of Toga Hospitality.

Argaman, who’ll be speaking on the sector at No Vacancy on March 19, says Toga’s budget brand Travelodge has been particularly strong as travellers hunt out value.

"We’ve had strong bookings into Travelodge – the brand is flying," she says.

Argaman says February was excellent across the Toga network – 46 properties under the Medina, Vibe, Travelodge and Adina brands – w"and we’re expecting a good March".

However, Argaman says it’s too early to call April – always a messy month to forecast with the timing of Easter having a significant impact, but she remains optimistic.

In terms of the overall market, no surprise she says five star properties are under the most pressure – on both price and image.

"The last thing a high-profile business person wants these days is a journalist snapping them in the foyer of a five-star hotel," she says.

"They are going to have to find an angle and be very clever about it."

Travel Trends: March 3, 2009

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