History of Budget Motels


After a visit to the USA a group of Canberra businessmen saw the need to establish a motel Chain here in Australia similar in concept to ‘Motel 6’ in the USA.

They built ‘Motel 7’ in the Canberra suburb of Narrabundah, which became the inaugural member of the unincorporated Association known as the Budget Motel Referral Service Association. The basic philosophy of the Chain was to offer clean, comfortable, affordable accommodation to the Australian market.


The Budget Motel Chain became incorporated to form National Budget Referral Chain Limited, a fully registered public company, not for gain, and structured in similar form to a non profit co-operative run by the members for the members. The Budget Motel Chain grew steadily over the years, expanding membership to all States & Territories of Australia.


New Zealand motels were invited to join the Chain, and over the years the membership in New Zealand grew.


Membership numbers of the Chain throughout Australia and New Zealand grew rapidly, taking the Chain to the largest motel referral Chain in the Southern Hemisphere.


The International Head Office of the Chain, at 435 Raymond Street Sale, was officially opened.


The Budget Motel Chain launched its own in house ‘Budget Reservation System’. The reservation system continued to strengthen since inception with approximately 14,000 room nights being sold per annum for member properties.


The Budget Motel Chain celebrated its 21st birthday, and proudly boasted 21 years of servicing the travelling public with their motel accommodation needs.


The Budget Motel Chain celebrated its 25th birthday year, and surpassed 50 editions of our Dollar Saving Accommodation Directory. The directory was printed twice yearly, April and October, and included member motel guaranteed tariffs, maps, tourist information and other useful details.


The Budget Motel Chain launched a new revamped web site that allowed guests to easily search for motel & hotel accommodation, check tariffs, availability & make secure instantly confirmed bookings.


From humble beginnings back in 1978 the Budget Motel Chain represents 324 member motels located throughout all States & Territories of Australlia and both Islands of New Zealand.


February 2009 saw the launch of a new trading name “Budget Motels” which encompassed the renowned Budget Motel Chain, Orbit Inns and Paragon Motels.


Discussions commenced with Aussie Travel Saver program to implement the Budget Motels Travel Saver Loyalty Program.


Budget Motels 66th directory went to a yearly publication. Rooms on Standby Services became live and free to Budget Motel members and commercialised to the industry. Budget Motels Travel Saver program embraced by members and loyalty cards were sold through motels and online.