UNLOCKING the potential of York's tourism industry was the topic of discussion as a York hotel played host to the city's MP.

York Central MP Hugh Bayley met representatives from Britain's biggest independent hotel chain, Travelodge, to discuss job creation and the potential of the tourism industry in the area.

Mr Bayley met the hotel manager for York Central Travelodge, Vilma Aukstiniene, and her hotel team of 22 staff, at the 93-room hotel to experience how the tourism industry creates jobs, helps people out of long-term unemployment and creates long term careers both in York and across the UK.

Mr Bayley said: "I was very impressed by the newly refurbished hotel and the service the company provides to the tourism industry.

"Along with other York hotels, Travelodge supports the increasing number of tourists to York by offering affordable rooms to a wide range of customers. It provides a significant boost to the local economy and delivers stable, long term careers in hospitality."

York Central is one of four hotels that Travelodge operates in York, employing 70 people in total. The hotel, in Piccadilly opened in 2000 and boosts the local economy by £1.6 million every year.

The hotel is already almost fully booked for York University's graduation ceremonies, and was fully booked for the Yorkshire Ebor Festival. In November, the UK Snooker Championships will be held at the York Barbican Centre, and the hotel is already busy for that.

In February last year, the hotel received a £340,000 make-over and was totally transformed to incorporate Travelodge's new contemporary brand look, which Mr Bayley was shown.