Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, will enter a strategic partnership agreement with ASMALLWORLD AG, a leading travel and lifestyle community.

It will see both companies become shareholders in each other’s businesses when the transaction closes in March 2022.

ASMALLWORLD AG will acquire a 10 per cent stake in GHA in a part cash, part shares transaction, which will see GHA owning a three per cent stake in a ASMALLWORLD AG.

The announcement follows 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, offering members access to benefits, activities, events and experiences in hotels, even they are not travelling.

ASMALLWORLD will support GHA with the delivery of this reimagined programme, providing complimentary access to its own social network for GHA DISCOVERY’s elite tier members as an additional benefit free of charge.

This will enable 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.

Once NH Hotel Group has completed its integration into the alliance in 2022, GHA will be a network of 40 independent hotel chains with more than 800 properties 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.

The new partnership is expected to launch in mid-2022.