TRAVELODGE wants to open a third hotel in Southampton, creating 30 jobs.

The budget chain is hunting for a new site in the city, to take advantage of the city's thriving cruise industry.

Travelodge already has branches on Lodge Road and Castle Way, but wants a third hotel as part of a national £60m investment project.

As previously reported, Travelodge’s expansion plans in Hampshire could see it open new hotels in Lymington, Winchester, Southsea, Gosport, Portsmouth and Hedge End,

A record-breaking two million cruise passengers visited the Port of Southampton in 2017, bringing around £2billion into the regional economy.

Every time a cruise ship visits Southampton, it is estimated to bring a cash boost of £2m and in 2017 there were more than 500 cruise calls.

Tony O’Brien, Travelodge property director, said: “The cruise boom is still underway and predicted to grow from strength to strength.

"Therefore we are getting on board now and looking for 10 new hotel sites at UK’s growing ports, which includes Southampton.

"This overall expansion represents an investment of £60 million for third party investors and will create around 300 new jobs.

"With more Britons taking to the waves, our port-based hotels are benefitting from holidaymakers stopping over before embarking and returning from their voyage.”

A specific site in Southampton has not yet been identified.

Travelodge wants to open a total of 10 new hotels in UK port cities, including in Glasgow, Liverpool and Hull.

The announcement follows the recent opening of Travelodge’s 560th hotel, in Dover.

Last month it controversially won planning permission to open a 62-bedroom hotel on Winchester High Street, taking over a number of empty units.

In February the Echo reported that it was also hunting for a site for an 80-bed hotel in Fareham, to add to its list of Hampshire branches which already includes two in Eastleigh and one in Lyndhurst.

In 2017 Southampton port experienced its busiest long weekend ever when 15 cruise ships visited the port in June.

And it was recognised for the ninth consecutive year as the Best UK Departure Port by Cruise Critic UK editors.