Cork-based Crawford Investments has launched a £200m-plus expansion of the Ramada International hotel brand in Ireland.
|Knox-Johnston: confident that the group will have 37 hotels in Ireland|
Crawford, which holds the Ramada master franchise for Ireland, plans to open 37 Ramada-branded hotels throughout the country over the next three years.
The group will spend g307m (£210m) making Ramada the fastest-growing hotel chain in the country. A major part of the strategy will be developing the golfing breaks market.
At least 27 of the hotels will be new-build properties, most of which will be in the Republic of Ireland, with seven hotels planned for Northern Ireland.
Agreements for nine hotels have already been confirmed, including the Ramada Hotels & Suites in Ballykisteen, Tipperary, the Ramada Encore in Mountrath, County Laois, and the Ramada Encore in Urlingford, County Kilkenny, all of which are scheduled to open in spring next year.
Terms of agreement for a further nine hotels throughout Ireland have also been drawn up and the group is actively looking for sites in Belfast, Dublin, Cork, Antrim, Galway and Wexford.
Chairman Michael Knox-Johnston said: "The initial interest has been fantastic. I am confident that we will reach our target of 37 hotels and I look forward to working with my partners and investors to build the biggest hotel brand on the island."
Currently, the only Ramada-branded hotel in Ireland is the Ramada Belfast.