As Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) celebrates its 15th anniversary, we wanted to reflect on just how much has changed since the beginning, and why now, more than ever, is the right time to join the alliance.
When the alliance first began the dream was to support independent hotel chains to compete with the large and mega-chains in the quest for global customer reach. Back then, it was much harder for hotels to reach wide audiences, as online marketing was far less prominent, and exposure was difficult for small brands to achieve.
Banding Together to Beat Out the Competition
GHA was a welcome asset, helping independent brands by using their collective global power and combining the strength of many to reach a worldwide audience; attracting the same quality guests as their larger competition.
While reach has remained a critical factor, the landscape has changed dramatically over the last 15 years. Shifts in guest booking behaviour -- the rise of online bookings -- is making it harder for independent hotels or brands to keep up as there is no way for them to compete with the budgets or technological advances being made by the OTAs and mega-brands.
Technology, in particular, CRM, has always played a leading role in hotel marketing but with mega-brands now investing big bucks into loyalty programs, and swiftly offering to buy up any independent brands standing in their way, gaining access to competitive technology has become a critical motivator for independent brands to consider the benefits of joining an alliance of other likeminded independent brands.
This ability to band together and compete with the scale of the mega-brands makes now the best time for independent to be part of a large global alliance.
What GHA Offers Today
GHA serves over 30 upscale and luxury hotel brands in a marketing alliance much like the airlines; leveraging a shared loyalty platform, DISCOVERY, which generates $1.6 billion room revenue from a database of 15 million loyalty members. With 550 hotels across 78 destinations, GHA and DISCOVERY achieve the necessary critical mass to compete with the mega-brands.
Tap Into DISCOVERY
Through DISCOVERY, hotels in the portfolio enjoy significant increases in repeat business as a result of being able to recognise, reward and encourage their most valuable guests to return. The CRM platform is optimised to offer a superior guest experience through first-class guest data management and is fully GDPR compliant.
DISCOVERY affords its participating brand's access to a high-value customer base of more than 15 million DISCOVERY members. But moreover, our participating brands are supported through GHA and our proprietary technology to maximise this database and move away from expensive third-party channels in favour of direct bookings.
By using the DISCOVERY platform participating brands enjoy significant savings and reach benefits; saving on the cost and time of developing their own programmes and achieving the loyalty reach of 15 million members.
As part of an alliance leveraging DISCOVERY, members expand their footprint, making them more competitive for management agreements or underwriting acquisition and leases.
Understanding the critical role that technology plays now and will continue to play in the future, GHA continues to re-invest in its platform. By leveraging our proprietary technology and member base, with DISCOVERY as our engine, we can continue to be a low-cost distribution channel for our brands.
Be You, With Big Network Benefits
Becoming part of an alliance is about retaining the values of an independent brand while leveraging the reach, technology and scalability of a big brand.
If you look at the recent backdrop of consolidation, and the mega-chains’ attempts to mass-market authenticity, the GHA approach - encouraging member brands to retain their own unique personalities - has consistently proven to be a recipe for success within the alliance and with guests.
By leveraging the alliance, GHA is able to, every year, deliver our member brands over 100 million dollars of incremental room revenue as guests stay at different brands across the alliance, benefiting from each other, and helping to save by shifting away from more expensive third-party channels that tend to dominate the independent brands today.
Unlike other alliances or member services, GHA offers alliance brands a commission-based model with no fixed fees, and the absolute guarantee of alignment of interests. We work in this way because we know that what we do works. GHA has proven room night production and higher marketing ROI.
Through new shareholders, Minor Hotel Group, Pan Pacific and Corinthia, we have strengthened the alliance even further, positing GHA for exponential growth through acquisition.
For all brands and hotels that have waited, wondering whether they really need to be part of an alliance, now is the time to join.
GHA is self-governed and committed to acting in the interests of the brands we serve, creating a truly collaborative environment between the member brands. Check out our alliance member testimonials for yourself to see how you can save time, expand reach, grow your brand and increase revenues.