By Kristi Gole, Global Hotel Alliance
The countdown has begun as we approach our big relaunch of GHA DISCOVERY in early December!
Though there is a multitude of changes across the programme, the most considerable enhancement is our new reward offering – DISCOVERY Dollars (D$) – the first of its kind digital rewards currency, which is accepted as a payment method for pretty much everything across our hotels.
After in-depth market research across our global membership base and domestic and international travellers, we have discovered that consumers are tired of miles and points. More specifically, they are understandably frustrated with tracking the value of those, waiting to amass a large amount before they can redeem, confused about the value, and quite often, disappointed with the limitations imposed on when and where they can use them.
They want rewards that are earned immediately, with a clear value, that are straightforward and easy to redeem. They were inspired by our previous Local Experiences reward element but rightly complained that it was not accessible enough, only being available to the top tiers.
That’s all about to change.
Introducing DISCOVERY Dollars
Our mission with GHA DISCOVERY is to help members savour every occasion at home or away. One of the key elements is our new DISCOVERY Dollars (D$) - a simplified rewards currency available to members from day one.
From the very first stay, members will earn D$ for their eligible purchases across the hotel. They’ll earn D$ at 4% to 7% of their total bill, and D$1 = 1 USD, or the equivalent in any other local currency, so the value is clear.
On their next stay, they can spend their D$ flexibly across the hotel, toward their room, dining, spa or golf. They simply apply their D$ as a form of payment at check-out.
Since Experiences were so popular, we’ve kept them but opened them up for all GHA DISCOVERY members to access, eligible for purchase with any accepted payment type, including D$.
D$ are effortless to earn and track on the GHA DISCOVERY mobile app or ghadiscovery.com.
A perfect way for GHA DISCOVERY members to reward themselves
What members choose to redeem toward is completely up to them. They can spend their D$ on their very next stay (with as little as D$10, so not having to save up), or save them up toward something big, like a dream getaway. We envision members using D$ toward an upgrade to an opulent room, treating themselves to a nice bottle of wine at dinner, indulging with a massage plus a facial in the spa, or exploring a destination with a curated experience.
It’s all about D$ helping members indulge in the moment.
Here’s how DISCOVERY Dollars work
Once guests join GHA DISCOVERY, they start earning D$ - from day one on all eligible purchases. They will get from 4% to 7% in D$ back every time they stay at any of the 800+ hotels and resorts in the GHA DISCOVERY collection. And they spend D$ toward their bill upon check-out. It doesn’t matter what level the member is - the variety of ways to spend D$ is the same. The only difference is that as their membership level increases, so does the percentage of D$ earned.
New way to reward guests
We know that since the start of the pandemic, hotels have been looking for ways to engage with and target guests who have not travelled much over the past two years, and GHA DISCOVERY has taken all of this into account. Loyalty programmes of today need to reinvent how they recognise and reward travellers because times have indeed changed.
GHA DISCOVERY gives our independent hotel brands a perfect opportunity to reward their loyal customers and attract new ones from across the alliance network. Providing them with the opportunity to earn and spend this straightforward rewards currency (D$) is a great way to excite, engage and motivate them to return again and again.
Stay tuned for more details about the all-new GHA DISCOVERY launch!
Kristi Gole is Vice President of Transformation at Global Hotel Alliance.