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In a bid to augment its European portfolio, Silver Spring, Maryland-based Choice Hotels International Inc. (CHH - Snapshot Report) recently inked a franchise agreement with Akkeron Hotels Group Limited. By virtue of this alliance, the company will be in charge of nine U.K. based Akkeron properties.

Positioned in Bristol, Bury St. Edmunds, Colchester, Peterborough and Kings Lynn, five Akkeron branded properties will be running under the company’s Quality brand while Winchester, Darlington, Ringwood and Stevenage based on other four properties will be operating under the Clarion Collection brand. The company will start operating these properties by the end of this year.

With this agreement, the company’s UK hotel portfolio will witness an increase of 25% annually with the inclusion of 611 new guestrooms. This agreement is in line with the company’s strategy to further expand its business in Europe.

In Europe, Choice Hotels operates under various brand names like Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality and Clarion. Nearly 500 hotels are now under the franchise agreement with the company in Europe.

Recently, Choice Hotels inked a marketing agreement with Bluegreen Corporation’s operational arm Bluegreen Vacations and Bluegreen Resorts Management, Inc.

As per the agreement, the company will be operating 21 Bluegreen Vacation Club Resorts under its Ascend Hotel Collection brand across various travel destinations including Aruba, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando, Cape Cod, Phoenix, Savannah, Ga. and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

As of Sept 30, 2012, Choice Hotels, the leading franchisor of hotel properties, has franchised around 6,199 hotels.

Choice Hotels carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Various other hoteliers who are also trying to expand their businesses further, include Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H - Snapshot Report)  which carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and The Marcus Corporation (MCS - Snapshot Report) which holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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