• Cyril McAree

Global Hotel Alliance Announces 2017 Results

Global Hotel Alliance (“GHA”), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands and operator of the award-winning, multi-brand loyalty programme, DISCOVERY, today revealed its 2017 results.

Overall room-revenue produced by the DISCOVERY loyalty programme members increased 9% to US$1.51 billion, of which cross-brand revenue (i. e. revenue produced by members who enrolled at one brand and then stayed at another) grew 21% to exceed US$100 million for the first time. In the best performing hotels, the DISCOVERY programme is now producing more than half of total room-nights sold and adding up to 7% in incremental occupancy from cross-brand customers. Over half a million cross-brand room-nights were generated in total.

The rise in revenues was driven largely by a further 25% growth in DISCOVERY membership, which reached 11.3 million members by the end of 2017. Over 5 million members reside in North America, but there was notable growth in Asia to 1.8 million, Europe to 1.9 million and a surge in membership in Australia and New Zealand, to over one million members.

Elite tier customers (DISCOVERY Black- and Platinum-level members) represent only 3% of the database, but in 2017 produced 28% of revenues or over US$400 million.

GHA’s CEO, Chris Hartley believes these results show the value of the alliance model: “the performance of the DISCOVERY programme in 2017 clearly demonstrates once again how the power of collaboration helps maintain a healthy independent sector, as our smaller hotel brands challenge the might of the ever-consolidating mega-groups and OTAs. Consolidating member data from more than 35 brands in the alliance and a powerful CRM, means that our member brands can reach more customers at a far lower cost of distribution than they can alone.”

In terms of channel, more DISCOVERY members booked direct than ever before with a 62% growth in revenue booked on discoveryloyalty.com, and the DISCOVERY app’s first full year saw over U$4 million worth of bookings. DISCOVERY members who booked direct did so at a rate premium of 48% over the average DISCOVERY rate, which was despite DISCOVERY launching a 10% direct booking discount in 2017 in most of its 500 hotels.

Local Experiences, DISCOVERY’s innovative rewards, which are curated by each hotel to offer members a taste of local traditions and culture, are now more widely embraced by members than ever before. 2017 saw a 52% growth in Black- and a 36% growth in Platinum-level Local Experience redemptions respectively.

In terms of destination performance, the highest growth of cross-brand (incremental) bookings was into Australia, growing an impressive 38%, with the United States up 13% and Singapore up 11%. In terms of cities, Australia again led the way with cross-brand bookings up highest in Melbourne (+11%), and Sydney (+10%), while London saw good growth (+8%), as did Bangkok (+6%).

And finally, the three most popular hotels booked on the DISCOVERY website in 2017 were Pan Pacific Singapore, Hotel Vier JahreszeitenKempinski in Munich and Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort in Honolulu.


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