Choice Hotels is to increase its portfolio of properties by almost 25% following an agreement with Akkeron Hotels to operate nine hotels on a franchise basis.
The arrangement will see Choice Hotels increase its number of UK hotels to 46. It is expected that further hotels within Akkeron, which owns and leases 34 properties, could eventually be added to the franchise deal.
As a result of the agreement, five Akkeron hotels in Bristol, Bury St. Edmunds, Colchester, Peterborough and Kings Lynn will be rebranded under the Quality brand and another four hotels in Winchester, Darlington, Ringwood and Stevenage will operate under the Clarion Collection brand.
The newly branded Choice hotels, Quality Hotel Bury St. Edmunds, Quality Hotel Peterborough and Clarion Collection Cromwell Stevenage, are expected to join the Choice Hotels Europe system by the end of February. The remaining hotels are expected to come online throughout 2013.
Duncan Berry, UK chief executive of Choice Hotels Europe, described Akkeron Hotels as a strong hotel operator and an ideal company for Choice to work with to help grow its presence in the UK. "The agreement initially will focus on rebranding nine hotels with the opportunity to discuss rebranding further Akkeron hotels in the future," he said.
Meanwhile, Matthew Welbourn, managing director of Akkeron Hotels, said: "Our relationship with Choice Hotels is about developing a long term strategy of increasing UK market share for both companies.
"It is clear that Choice Hotels is prepared to invest in the UK market in terms of brand and distribution. Alongside the change in brand comes a significant investment into the nine hotels to reposition those businesses along with the conversion to the Clarion Collection and Quality brands."
Choice Hotels Europe franchises nearly 500 hotels in Europe across the four-to-five star Clarion brand, the three-star Quality brand and the two-to-three star Comfort brand.