Hotel consortium Pride of Britain has welcomed the decision by Relais & Châteaux to allow its members to be able to join both organisations.
Relais & Châteaux introduced the non-dual membership rule in 1998, when it barred its members from belonging to competing associations.
However, the French-based body, which has 520 members worldwide, has now made an exception for Pride of Britain, which currently has 45 members in the UK and a maximum capacity of 50 hotels.
Peter Hancock, chief executive of Pride of Britain, said he was "thrilled" with the news as it is something that members had been hoping would happen for some years.
"At last hoteliers in Britain will be able to take advantage of the services of both organisations if they so wish."
Relais & Châteaux had originally prevented hotels from joining both organisations as it believed Pride of Britain was a competing body.
"The key reasons for not allowing dual membership are the risk of dilution of the Relais & Châteaux association and its brand, as well as the confusion for guests when the activities proposed by the competing organisation are quite similar to the ones offered by Relais & Châteaux," said Jaume Tapies, international president of Relais & Châteaux in 2010.
Hancock had always argued that the two associations operated in different markets, with Relais & Châteaux primarily working with the travel trade internationally, while Pride of Britain was focused on marketing directly to consumers within the UK.
Philip Newman Hall, managing director of Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, one of the 31 Relais & Châteaux members in the UK, took to Twitter to describe the news of the dual membership as being "mutually beneficial."
http://www.catererandhotelkeeper.co.uk/articles/17/5/2012/343701/the-caterer-and-hotelkeeper-interview-philip-newman-hall.htm" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">Relais & Chateaux rejects dual membership request from Pride of Britain >>](http://www.catererandhotelkeeper.co.uk/articles/8/3/2010/332511/relais-chateaux-rejects-dual-membership-request-from-pride-of-britain.htm)
[The Caterer and Hotelkeeper interview - Philip Newman-Hall >>