Business Irish

Saturday 21 October 2017

Ex Booking.com boss backs Irish hotel group

Great National was formed in 2010 and claims to be Ireland and the UK's fastest-growing hospitality group. Photo: Thinkstock
Great National was formed in 2010 and claims to be Ireland and the UK's fastest-growing hospitality group. Photo: Thinkstock
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

Rachel Howes, the former managing director of Booking.com, has taken a stake in Irish hospitality company, the Great National Hotels and Resorts Group.

Howes played a key role in growing Booking.com and is also a technology investor, co-founding HomeRez.com, an emerging European holiday letting company.

Great National was formed in 2010 and claims to be Ireland and the UK's fastest-growing hospitality group, providing outsourcing services to independent 4-star and 3-star deluxe properties. Its services include marketing, distribution, reservations and yield management. The company is now comprised of 65 hotels and resorts, with 4,500 hotel bedrooms.

Chief executive of Great National David Byrne said that Howes would help further develop the group's distribution strategy.

Howes has taken a minority stake as part of a first-round investment programme.

Byrne said the funds would be used mainly for proprietary-technology development in areas of distribution, digital and yield management. Great National, based in Ennis, Co Clare, is backed by Enterprise Ireland and directly employs over 860 people throughout group and hotel operations.

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