Minotel International in Switzerland has stepped in to represent the remaining 82 UK members of the pan-European consortium after the UK group went into administration in April.
It has also taken over the consortium's reservations system and Web site, which had been developed and handled by Blackpool-based Minotel Great Britain.
The UK group was placed in the hands of administrator KPMG Corporate Recovery when a projected 40% of the group's 130 members looked unlikely to renew their membership this May. KPMG blamed a lack of confidence due to foot-and-mouth and a difficult 12 months' trading.
Joint administrator Paul Flint said the UK company has been wound down and will go into liquidation over the next few weeks once its assets have been realised.
Isabel Noding, chief executive for sales and marketing at Minotel International, said the Lausanne-based Swiss group would now promote UK members to operators worldwide and take bookings for them. The Swiss arm already handles general administration, finance, accounting and promotion for the consortium.
UK hotels will have "independent" status, which occurs in countries where there are not enough members for a local office. Minotel previously had 50 independent members in locations such as Scandinavia, the Baltic, Russia and the Benelux countries.
Noding did not expect all 82 UK members to remain with the group for 2002, and said she would know the numbers by August. She added that Minotel would be happy to hold discussions with anyone interested in setting up a new UK office.
The UK group helped found Minotel in December 1983 along with groups in France and Switzerland. The consortium, an affiliation of independent groups owned by directors and members, now represents 650 hotels across 30 European countries.
by Angela Frewin