Choice Hotels Europe (CHE) is teaming up with Premier Hotels to form a new hotel grouping in Ireland.
The joint venture means CHE will double its number of hotels in Ireland to 16, with a further 14 planned within five years.
Premier Hotels has five properties, including the Quality Hotel Cork and the Clarion Hotel, Dublin. Seven others are expected to join via a franchise deal with the Court Hotel group.
CHE chief executive Tony Potter said the move was in response to a healthy commercial market and the promise of a booming leisure market fuelled by the peace process.
"To date, no other hotel brand has really penetrated the Irish market. We intend to change this by taking advantage of important commercial links in America, where our brands, Quality and Comfort, are very strong," he said.
- Chefs made redundant, see page 7.