Minor Hotels, which has 525 properties in 52 countries under brands such as Anantara, Avani and Tivoli, is planning a transition of the NH Rewards programme following its takeover of Spanish hotel group NH Hotels.
Speaking with Business Traveller, chief executive officer Dillip Rajakarier said:
“Guests of the Minor Hotels brands such as Anantara and Avani currently are members of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA). What we are doing at the moment is cross promoting the Minor Hotel brands to members of NH Hotel’s loyalty programme, but we are planning to announce a new loyalty programme by the end of this year.”
The current NH Rewards allows members to earn cash-back for their spend with NH Hotels (around five per cent of spend depending on which of the four tiers – blue, silver, gold or platinum – they belong to) which then goes into a virtual wallet.
The intention is for members of the NH Rewards programme to initially get a chance to burn some of their earned virtual wallet with Minor properties and, when the new programme is launched, transition into the new programme and become members of GHA Discovery, the multi-brand loyalty programme of GHA.
“We will announce the name of the new programme in the third quarter of 2019 and it will happen in the first half of 2020,” said Rajakarier, but added that the integration must be done carefully, especially after the experience of Marriott and Starwood.
NH Rewards has 10 million members, of which three million are active. The Global Hotel Alliance Discovery programme has another 10 million, of which Minor Hotels members make up two million.
Rajakarier added that Minor Hotels is a larger hotel group than many realise, and the addition of NH Hotels to GHA would mean another 400 hotels for GHA Discovery members to enjoy.
“With 520 hotels in the Minor Group, we are in the top 20 and if you take out the regional players we become top 10, so we are quite a large hotel company. Our intention is to continue on the growth mode and we won’t stop with that. In five years’ time we will get to 600 or 700 hotels, and that’s the target to keep growing,” he said.
“Our expansion will come with the NH Hotels brands and Avanis and the Tivolis,” he added.
Nevertheless, Rajakarier added that hotel owners are “shying away” from being part of a large chain because they do not want to become “a number in a large group”.
“If you look at these large companies, they have 30 or 40 brands, and in a region they compete with one another. The number of hotels by them keeps growing because they keep signing new ones, but they can’t increase their distribution and the owners are not happy. So yes, they fill the hotels with 40 per cent of members of their loyalty programmes, but members earn their points in city hotels and burn them in resorts, and the owners get US$99 for a room that is worth much more, and owners don’t like that either.”
This year, the Anantara brand will move into Malaysia and Mauritius and has just opened an Anantara in Marbella, called Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Benahavís Marbella Resort, which used to be a Ritz-Carlton.
As previously mentioned, Minor Hotels has planned M Collection properties for China.
The Hengqin, Zhuhai opening in 2020 will be the first M Collection branded hotel in China followed by Hangzhou Yuhang. Minor Hotels already has properties in China, including three under its Anantara brand in Xishuangbanna, Sanya and Guiyang. Partnering with the Zhuhai Da Heng Qin Company, the 100-room M Collection Hengqin Zhuhai is next to a mountain top reservoir in the southern corner of Zhuhai.
To read more about the bridge, read our piece Bridging the gap
And to read more about Zhuhai and Hengqin, see our feature Greater Bay Area: Advantage Zhuhai
The second resort to be signed under the M Collection brand in China is a 54 key all-villa resort in Hangzhou Yuhang, in Zhejiang Province, scheduled to be completed in 2022.
The new hotel will be part of the 433 hectare Lvjingtang Eco-Park which is located approximately 55 kilometres northwest of Hangzhou city centre in Yuhang district near the Alibaba headquarters and new private jet aviation centre.
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