Global Hotel Alliance hits a high note

Chris Hartley, CEO, Global Hotel Alliance

UAE-based Global Hotel Alliance, the world’s largest alliance of independent hotels brands, has bested its 2022 performance forecasts on the back of Q3 travel recovery. The company has reported a stellar nine-month performance, with total revenue generated by the 22 million members of its GHA DISCOVERY loyalty programme of over $900 million, up 68 per cent on 2021 and reaching 84 per cent of pre-pandemic (2019) levels on a like for like basis.|

Driven by pent-up demand for leisure travel, GHA reports a combination of higher average rates and a 20 per cent increase in average length of stay globally from January to September versus the same period in 2021.

Maldives, Thailand and the UAE were the top three countries for GHA DISCOVERY member stays, while the most-visited cities were Dubai (a further 48 per cent growth in stays over 2021), followed by Singapore and Bangkok.

The reimagination of the GHA DISCOVERY loyalty programme, launched in December 2021, which introduced the industry’s first digital rewards currency, DISCOVERY DOLLARS (D$), redeemable on stays at any GHA hotel brand property, also bumped up revenues. From January to September, GHA issued D$55 million of rewards (same value in US$) to members, who can use them to pay for stays at any GHA property around the world, further driving repeat bookings. 

“Our 2022 performance to date has exceeded all expectations, not only demonstrating travel’s enduring attraction, as it bounces back from the pandemic, but the success of our growth strategy, underpinned by the reinvention of GHA DISCOVERY and the addition of new hotel brand partners to our alliance,” said GHA CEO Chris Hartley.

“With D$ redemptions giving repeat and cross-brand stays a huge boost, we are delivering more new revenue streams to our hotel brands. Typically, these redemptions are being used as part-payment for a guest’s total bill, and overall our brands are witnessing an average 17 times return on investment from the new programme, a 21% lift compared to ROI delivered by the former version of our loyalty programme”, he adds.

The 2022 summer holiday season was another performance driver, with August proving the alliance’s second-strongest month ever, delivering revenues just shy of March 2019’s record performance.

Hartley concluded: “With the leisure travel rebound accelerating into Q4, business travel steadily on the up, evidenced in revenues from our major corporate accounts recovering to 81 per cent of 2019 levels by the end of Q3, and with more D$ going into circulation, we are confident of a positive outlook for the full-year 2022 and heading into 2023.”