The world of PR is an odd one. I spend my days deleting huge volumes of, effectively, complete nonsense from my inbox. When a company has some bad news, though, they somehow forget to mention it to anyone.
Thistle Hotels is losing 19 of its 30 UK hotels on July 30th.
This is, without doubt, a major piece of news. From 1st August, Thistle will effectively be a London-only hotel chain. The only regional properties to survive will be Edinburgh and Poole!
Take a look at the Thistle press releases page here. There is no mention of this very drastic piece of news at all.
These are hotels which are leaving the chain:
Thistle Birmingham City Centre
Thistle Brands Hatch
Thistle Brighton (photo above, astonishingly ugly given its seafront location)
Thistle Bristol City Centre
Thistle Cheltenham Hotel
Thistle East Midlands Airport
Thistle Exeter City Centre
Thistle Liverpool City Centre
Thistle Manchester City Centre
Thistle Newcastle City Centre
Thistle St Albans, The Noke
Thistle Aberdeen Airport
Thistle Aberdeen Altens
Thistle Aberdeen City Centre
Thistle Cardiff City Centre
The reason appears to be that all 19 hotels were under the same ownership and the owner has made a decision to switch all of them away from Thistle. This is not hugely surprising as the brand does not have a huge amount of value these days.
What is more surprising is that they are being taken over by The Hotel Collection, a small chain which includes the old Puma Hotels, Barcelo Hotels and Paramount Hotels. This deal will effectively double the size of the company. The Thistle hotels do seem a decent fit with their existing properties but that is not a positive statement!
From a loyalty perspective, this move is clearly a major gutting of the Thistle Signature scheme. Opportunities to earn and burn are now reduced sharply.
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