MORE than 150 jobs are set to be created in Hampshire after a major hotel chain announced it is planning nine new hotels.

Travelodge said new jobs could be in the pipeline as it is eyes up towns and cities across the county in a bid to meet high demand.

Lymington, Winchester, Fareham and Portchester are among the places it is targeting.

The chain, which already employs 200 at its 15 hotels in the county, claims this would boost the local economy annually by £11million.

Tony O'Brien, Travelodge, UK Development Director said: “Hampshire is one of our top performing counties within the UK, with demand growing at great pace for good quality branded budget hotel rooms from business and leisure travellers.

“In response to this growing need, we have extended our target list for the region and we are going to start looking for new sites in ten locations across Hampshire.

"These locations stretch from Basingstoke to Portsmouth, encompassing most of the County.

“We are excited about the growth opportunities in Hampshire and hope to be able to announce more details soon about specific sites.”

Other places being selected are Andover, Basingstoke, Fleet, Petersfield, Portsmouth and Waterlooville.

Hotels in Bournemouth, Southampton and on the Isle of Wight are due to be refitted later this year and by the end of 2013, Travelodge plans to have refitted more than 50 per cent of all its rooms.

By autumn 2014, almost 90 per cent of Travelodge's estate will incorporate the new room design, meaning the makeover will see an average of more than 50 rooms refurbished every single day for the next 18 months.

Mr O'Brien added: “This capital expenditure will help us grow our business, strengthen our product offering and make Travelodge the best value hotel chain in the UK.”