Global Hotel Alliance unveils loyalty programme

17 Mar 2010 by BusinessTraveller

Sharing a platform with the Chief Executive Officer of the Star Alliance Jaan Albrecht, Global Hotel Alliance CEO Christopher Hartley announced details of the new GHA Discovery recognition programme.

As first reported on Business Traveller Asia’s website last year the programme will operate across all of the 12 hotel brands in the Global Hotel Alliance, and will have three tiers: gold, platinum and black (with a special invitation-only red level). The programme will be about recognition rather than being points-based system, but members will be able to earn miles in partner airline programmes, something that Hartley said GHA’s research had shown was wanted.

“Of all hotel points awarded across the industry, in all programmes, more than half are converted into frequent flyer miles” Hartley said, explaining that the intention was for members to be able to earn miles with partner airlines.

“The purpose of the alliance is to create a meaningful proposition for customers, and now we have the technology in place which allows us to recognise guests wherever they stay around the world with us,” Hartley said. “GHA members aren’t mega brands. Instead they tend to be independently owned, and the alliance’s key asset comes from the strength of these regional brands, all sharing the sales and marketing resources.”

Hartley said the rewards available in the GHA programme would include a choice of over 1000 “unique” experiences put together by experts at the member hotels. “In many cases these have been specially packaged and cannot be bought”.

For members, earning rewards should be simple, since “All members are equal” (so one night in the most expensive hotel in the Alliance is worth the same as one night in the least expensive). The tier levels have been set at 10 nights and 30 nights for moving from gold to platinum and platinum to black, respectively.

There is, however, weighting to take into account travellers who stay with many brands rather than just one or two, and even a jackpot prize for members reaching a certain number of nights and who had stayed at each of the member brands. Details of the earning structure will be published in May on the GHA website, Hartley said.

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Report by Tom Otley

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