Irish hotel company plans major expansion in Britain
Great National Hotels & Resorts also looking to take on more Irish hotels
Great National Hotels & Resorts is an Irish hotel company with 27 properties under its umbrella.
Great National Hotels & Resorts, an Irish hotel company with 27 properties under its umbrella, is planning a major expansion in Britain.
The group – which recently launched a new hotel brand, Great National – says it will sign up three more independent properties by the end of the year, bringing its total to about 20 in Ireland and 10 in Britain.
It will then set out an expansion plan focused on attracting three- and four-star independent hotels within a two- or three-hour radius of Manchester. It will also look to take on more hotels in Ireland, mainly in the midlands and Ulster.
David Byrne, its managing director, said the group hoped to have 50 hotels by the end of 2014, and expected to double that number by the end of 2015.
The company has 35 staff and operates a reservations call centre for its hotels in Ennis, Co Clare.
The Abbey Court Hotel in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, became the first hotel in the group to fully rebrand six weeks ago. Mr Byrne said it would fully rebrand at least two more hotels by the end of February.
The group does not operate the hotels, which remain independently owned and managed.
Great National handles reservations for the majority of its hotels through its Ennis call centre, manages their internet sales channels, and handles their rates and revenue management. It also builds and customises the hotels’ websites, and advertises the group online and on television.
The group is trying to position itself half-way between the major hotel brands, such as Hilton, and other looser marketing consortia, such as Leading Hotels of the World.
“The big brands require their hotels to sign up to onerous long-term deals, while some of the marketing groups don’t actually do that much operationally for their hotels.
“We have tried to take the best of both worlds and come up with something in the middle,” said Mr Byrne.