COVID fuels interest for accommodation pods

UK: A Scottish design and manufacturing firm, Armadilla, is seeing a growing order book for its luxury and ecofriendly accommodation pods as the company returns to operations.

Armadilla, a family-run business based in Midlothian, designs and manufactures a range of sustainable pod-style accommodation units for the commercial hospitality sector, including hotel groups, holiday parks and resorts.

Each pod is pre-constructed, and includes fully integrated plumbing, electrics, air conditioning, underfloor heating, and options for a range of smart tech to enhance the guest experience.

Following the closure of its factory in March, Armadilla secured funding from Clydesdale Bank through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and resumed operations last month.

The company is fulfilling its pre-lockdown orders and receiving a growing volume of new orders from customers around the world.

Archie Hunter, managing director at Armadilla, said: “With global travel restrictions in place because of coronavirus, hospitality providers around the world are turning their attention to their domestic markets and seeking to create unique experiences for the staycation market. Our pods are designed and built to a luxury standard and offer guests the wow factor without the need to travel abroad.

“The innovative design of our products means our pods can be shipped globally and built in around three weeks, offering customers a relatively quick, but high-quality solution. We have a robust pipeline in the UK and Ireland, with orders also coming in from Europe. We are shipping to New Zealand and talking to customers in Saudi Arabia, where they are seeking to drive their tourism market to boost the economy.”

Michael Mackie, relationship manager at Clydesdale Bank, added: “The hospitality sector was hit hard by the coronavirus lockdown and suppliers to the sector, like Armadilla Ltd, felt the full weight of that impact too. Now, we’re starting to see new opportunities emerge and Armadilla is in a strong position to take advantage of growing demand for holiday pods. We have worked with the business for several years and have supported their business plans, including funding to invest in innovative new cutting technology, and we look forward to celebrating their ongoing growth.”

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