Global Hotel Alliance and Asmallworld AG combine the strengths of GHA DISCOVERY, the largest loyalty programme for independent hotel brands and ASMALLWORLD’s leading travel & lifestyle community.
DUBAI, UAE – UAE headquartered Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, will enter into a strategic partnership agreement with Asmallworld AG, the world’s leading travel & lifestyle community, and both companies will become shareholders in each other’s businesses when the transaction closes in March 2022. Asmallworld AG will acquire a 10% stake in GHA in a part cash, part shares transaction, which will see GHA owning a 3% stake in a Asmallworld AG.
This announcement comes on the heels of the recent relaunch of the GHA-operated loyalty programme GHA DISCOVERY, which now offers a unique digital rewards currency “DISCOVERY Dollars” plus a new “Live Local” concept, which offers access to benefits, activities, events and experiences in hotels, even when members are not travelling.
Asmallworld will support GHA with the delivery of this reimagined programme, in particular the “Live Local” concept. ASMALLWORLD will provide complimentary access to its own social network for GHA DISCOVERY’s elite tier members as an additional benefit free of charge. This will allow GHA DISCOVERY elite members to enjoy all the benefits of the Asmallworld travel and lifestyle network, including events, experiences, and the opportunity to engage with a like-minded community, which is expected to increase customer engagement and drive repeat visits across the alliance’s hotel portfolio.
Once NH Hotel Group has completed its integration into the alliance in 2022, GHA will be a network of 40 independent hotel chains with over 800 hotels in 100 countries, and GHA DISCOVERY will have more than 20 million members. The new strategic partnership also provides Asmallworld with a mandate to recruit independent hotels into the alliance under a new “Asmallworld” hotel brand portfolio.
GHA’s CEO Chris Hartley comments: “Joint activities with Asmallworld have already proved successful and have highlighted the close synergies between our customer bases and the attractiveness of the complementary products and services, which bring value to each other’s membership propositions. ASMALLWORLD members who join GHA DISCOVERY tend to become some of our highest-spending customers across our hotels. It therefore feels like a natural next step in this growing partnership to become shareholders in each other’s businesses; and we will benefit from ASMALLWORLD’s insights and experience in areas such as social networking and events, which are a logical extension to our GHA DISCOVERY programme. We are excited about the new opportunities this collaboration will present; it will create a new social aspect to the travel experience of our top tier GHA DISCOVERY members, at a time when we are all optimistic about the recovery of travel in 2022.”
"This strategic alliance between ASMALLWORLD and GHA opens up new opportunities for both companies. GHA can now offer its most valued customers direct access to the ASMALLWORLD network and Asmallworld will be able to offer its core products to members of the GHA DISCOVERY programme, and in particular their highest-spending elite tier members. GHA will also offer Asmallworld's services to the entire GHA DISCOVERY’s 20-million-strong membership base, which will greatly increase our reach and sales potential," said Jan Luescher, CEO of Asmallworld.
The transaction is expected to close in March 2022 and the new partnership will launch in mid- 2022.
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