Global Hotel Alliance embraces consumer demand for more flexibility on how they earn and spend rewards, at home or away, with the redesign of GHA DISCOVERY and the introduction of the industry’s first digital rewards currency.
DUBAI, UAE – The reimagination of GHA DISCOVERY, the loyalty programme for independent hotel brands, is officially launched, meeting the needs of modern travellers with more rewards, recognition and opportunities to experience hotels and resorts at home or away. Operated by Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the programme, which embraces new travel and lifestyle trends, encompasses more than 500 hotels across 35 brands in 85 countries and serves more than 11 million members. It will expand its reach further when NH Hotels Group joins in 2022, adding another 360 hotels.
An extensive GHA member feedback study and new consumer behaviour showed that travellers are asking to be rewarded instantly and fairly, not just for nights stayed but also for spend, in a clear and straightforward way. Today’s consumers like to feel part of the community and the chance to enjoy hotel experiences close to home. GHA DISCOVERY is modelled around three member-centric concepts: a new digital rewards currency, DISCOVERY Dollars (D$); Recognition, with more tiers and multiple ways to progress and benefits from the first stay; and Live Local, inviting members into the hotels even without a stay, through offers and experiences from pool access to spa days to dining and more.
“Today’s discerning guests want to be recognised and rewarded instantly, wherever they travel and for whatever they spend, and GHA DISCOVERY now offers this flexibility, with the introduction of the industry’s first digital rewards currency, DISCOVERY Dollars, enabling members to earn from their very first stay and redeem on future stays for in-hotel spend, from room to dining and spa or golf. With frequent local trips also the new norm due to ongoing pandemic-related travel restrictions, our new programme is more accessible and generous, rewarding members at hotels closer to home,” said GHA CEO Chris Hartley.
Beyond rewards and benefits, GHA DISCOVERY better leverages the emerging role of hotels and resorts as community and lifestyle hubs, tapping into consumer appetite for connection to people and places and encouraging them to spend locally, giving a much-needed boost to the hospitality sector and local economies.
With the launch of DISCOVERY Dollars pumping some D$75 million (worth the equivalent in US$) into circulation globally in 2022, members will be motivated to spend, and GHA anticipates the introduction of the digital rewards currency will generate some US$1.5 billion in room revenue alone.
“Ultimately, the new GHA DISCOVERY programme will help the revival of popular international destinations while building local travel communities,” said Hartley. “We are taking a very forward-looking approach to loyalty, not only meeting the needs of today’s consumers but giving them a good reason to spend, supporting the organic rebound of travel and hospitality as a key part of the global economic revival in 2022.”
Unique hotel, resorts & palaces with culture and community at their heart GHA DISCOVERY is also one of the most diverse loyalty programmes globally, featuring 35 distinct brands that offer unique hospitality experiences. With NH Hotel Group joining GHA in early 2022, adding 360 additional hotels in 30 countries across three brands – NH Hotels, NH Collection and nhow – members will have even more choice, plus the chance to earn and redeem at more than 800 properties worldwide.
Ultra-luxurious hotels and resorts in GHA’s Ultratravel Collection are part of this offering, with its portfolio of best-in-class properties in sought-after destinations, including remote islands and off- the-beaten-track locations, appealing to traveller demand for bespoke luxury travel experiences where privacy, social distancing and a sustainable approach to tourism is preferred.
This conscious travel movement, accelerated by the pandemic and embraced by GHA and its hotel brands, with an onus on giving back to communities and the environment, is reflected in a special promotion to mark the relaunch of GHA DISCOVERY. Applicable to member bookings made on the GHA DISCOVERY website or mobile app between 8th and 31st December 2021 for travel completed by 30th June 2022. GHA DISCOVERY will contribute US $1 per booking to charities supported by alliance brands encompassing multiple causes, including programmes dedicated to education for children, healthcare and social wellbeing, environmental protection and animal welfare.
Key benefits of the new programme include:
- DISCOVERY DOLLARS (D$): An all-new digital rewards currency where members earn D$ at any property in the GHA DISCOVERY collection for use on future stays. At check- out, D$ earned on previous stays can be used towards the hotel room, room upgrades, dining, spa treatments, or other extras. Members can earn D$ from Day One, and the percentage earned on eligible spend increases with membership tier status, starting at 4% and rising to 7%.
- EXPANDED MEMBERSHIP TIERS: The new GHA DISCOVERY tiers are Silver, Gold, Platinum and Titanium. New members achieve Silver status upon joining the programme and are entitled to benefits from their first stay. Tier progression is easier and faster to access, thanks to an extra tier added and more flexible criteria. Members can move to the next tier in three ways – the number of nights/stays, spend across eligible purchases, or the number of hotel brands stayed in. Titanium members can also benefit from status sharing, with the option to gift their tier to a friend or family member each year.
- LIVE LOCAL: Tapping into the staycation trend, Live Local gives members access to GHA properties in their hometown through Stay Offers for well-deserved breaks; Local Offers for short bursts of enjoyment without a stay, such as access to the beach, gym or pool, or special deals on dining and wellness; plus Experiences – bespoke member-only activities that immerse them in their local culture or community, from tours and classes to events and nature-bound expeditions.
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