Former Booking.com managing director buys into Great National Hotels

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Irish-owned hotel chain Great National Hotels and Resorts Group has announced that the former managing director of Booking.com has taken an ownership in the company as it looks to expansion.

Rachel Howes, who was instrumental in the success of Booking.com and helped grow the company to a major global brand, has invested in the hospitality group, which comprises 65 hotels and resorts, as its eyes further acquisitions this year.

Howes is also a co-founder of HomeRez.com, one of Europe’s top leaders in holiday letting.

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Great National was formed in 2010 and is one of Ireland and the UK’s fastest growing hospitality group, providing a range of outsourcing services to independent four-star and three-star deluxe properties including marketing, distribution, reservations and yield management.

Commenting on Rachel Howes’ investment, Great National CEO David Byrne said: “We are extremely pleased that Rachel has come on board with Great National. She has over 25 years’ experience in accelerating the hotels rooms revenues and is one of the leading international figures in channel management. Rachel’s role with Great National will be to further develop and direct our own distribution strategy. We look forward to working with Rachel as we move into our next stage development.”

Howes’ buy-in into Great National is part of a coordinated first round investment programme. Commenting on this, Byrne went on to add: “we are delighted with the success of this first round investment which will be used primarily for proprietary technology development in areas of distribution, digital and yield management; we also expect to announce further investor activity including plans for a series of acquisitions in the final quarter of 2017.”

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