The Classic British Hotels marketing consortium has merged with its Irish-based rival Great National Hotels and Resorts.
The coming together of the two bodies has created a collection of 135 independently owned hotels with a total of 8,150 bedrooms.
Len Louis, chairman of the Hotel Partnership, parent company of Classic British Hotels, said that the merger has resulted in "one of the largest independent hotel services' companies in Europe" and provided "the total package for independent hotels and the muscle to be a dominant player in the hotel market".
Technology, marketing and sales services between the two companies will now be combined between two offices in Woking, Surrey, and Ennis in County Clare, Ireland, while the two brands, Classic British Hotels and Great National Hotels, will be retained across the UK and Ireland.
Classic British Hotels, which currently represents over 70 three-star and four-star properties will become a four-star and five-star brand from the 1 April 2019. At the same time, it will introduce a new three-star corporate brand into the UK.
Established in 2010, Great National Hotels has 64 three-star deluxe and four-star hotels and resorts throughout Ireland and the UK.
"With Brexit on the horizon, we also see this as a real opportunity, as we will have dual status within the EU, with offices trading in both the UK and Southern Ireland when the UK leaves the EU," said Louis. We believe that the combined expertise, depth of knowledge, technology-led approach and range of services offered by the new group will give us a greater competitive edge and real strength in the marketplace, whilst offering our member hotels a truly comprehensive set of revenue-driving solutions."
Picture caption: Nicola Rhone, managing director, the Hotel Partnership; David Byrne, chief executive, Great National Hotels and Resorts; Paul Abson, UK managing director, Great National Hotels and Resorts; and Len Louis, chairman of the Hotel Partnership.