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The World’s Largest Loyalty Program For Independent Hotel Brands Is Reimagined To Meet Expectations Of Today’s Travellers

The reimagination of GHA DISCOVERY, the world’s largest loyalty programme for independent hotel brands, is officially launched today, 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.

Under the reimagined program, guests of Oaks Hotels, Resorts & Suites and Avani Hotels & Resorts in Australia and New Zealand will have access to savings and perks, along with discounts at over 500 hotels within the DISCOVERY programme portfolio around the globe.

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.

“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.

“We recognise that travellers want more from their loyalty programs than ever before, and we are pleased to be rewarding loyal guests through the launch of Oaks DISCOVERY and Avani DISCOVERY within the Australian and New Zealand markets.” Said Craig Hooley, Chief Operating Officer for Minor Hotels Australia and New Zealand.

“With domestic and international borders re-opening, it is the perfect time for guests to redeem their DISCOVERY Dollars either at home or abroad, at any of the 500 hotels in GHA DISCOVERY’s network across 85 countries.” said Hooley.

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. Members will be able to use their DISCOVERY Dollars on unique local offers and experiences without booking a stay – perfect for engaging with local members who may not be able to travel.

GHA DISCOVERY is complimentary to join, and travellers can sign up online or download the GHA DISCOVERY app and register on their mobile phones. Travellers can also connect with GHA DISCOVERY on Instagram and Facebook.

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