Hong Kong SAR, China, 9 December 2021 – Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) DISCOVERY, the world’s largest loyalty programme for independent hotel brands has been reimagined and launched this week, meeting the needs of modern travellers with more rewards, recognition and opportunities to experience hotels and resorts at home or away.
GHA DISCOVERY, the multi-brand loyalty programme, enables Marco Polo Hotels and Niccolo Hotels together with over 30 brands to compete with larger loyalty programmes because it allows each brand to retain its individuality and offer its own rewards loyalty programme, namely Marco Polo DISCOVERY and Niccolo DISCOVERY. Membership is complimentary to join online or through the GHA DISCOVERY app, while benefits and rewards are applicable to more than 500 hotels in 85 countries.
“Today’s discerning guests want to be recognised and rewarded instantly, wherever they travel and for whatever they spend, and GHA DISCOVERY now offers this flexibility, with the introduction of the industry’s first digital rewards currency, DISCOVERY Dollars, enabling members to earn from their very first stay and redeem on future stays for in-hotel spend, from room to dining and spa or golf. With frequent local trips being the new norm, our new programme is more accessible and generous, rewarding members at hotels closer to home,” said GHA CEO Chris Hartley.
With the launch of DISCOVERY Dollars pumping some D$75 million (worth the equivalent in US$) into circulation globally in 2022, members will be motivated to spend, and GHA anticipates the introduction of the digital rewards currency will generate some US$1.5 billion in room revenue alone.
GHA DISCOVERY is modelled around three member-centric concepts: a new digital rewards currency, DISCOVERY Dollars (D$); Recognition, with more tiers and multiple ways to progress and benefits from the first stay; and Live Local, inviting members into the hotels even without a stay, through offers and experiences from pool access to dining and more.
- DISCOVERY DOLLARS (D$): An all-new digital rewards currency where members earn D$ at any property in the DISCOVERY collection for use on future stays. At check-out, D$ earned on previous stays can be used towards the hotel room, room upgrades, dining, spa treatments, or other extras. Members can earn D$ from Day One, and the percentage earned on eligible spend increases with membership tier status, starting at 4% and rising to 7%.
- EXPANDED MEMBERSHIP TIERS: The new GHA DISCOVERY tiers are Silver, Gold, Platinum and Titanium. New members achieve Silver status upon joining the programme and are entitled to benefits from their first stay. Tier progression is easier and faster to access, thanks to an extra tier added and more flexible criteria. Members can move to the next tier in three ways – the number of nights/stays, spend across eligible purchases, or the number of hotel brands stayed in. Titanium members can also benefit from status sharing, with the option to gift their tier to a friend or family member each year.
- LIVE LOCAL: Tapping into the staycation trend, Live Local gives members access to GHA properties in their hometown through Stay Offers for well-deserved breaks; Local Offers for short bursts of enjoyment without a stay, such as access to the beach, gym or pool, or special deals on dining and wellness; plus Experiences – bespoke member-only activities that immerse them in their local culture or community, from tours and classes to events and nature-bound expeditions.
With an onus on giving back to communities and to also mark GHA DISCOVERY’s relaunch – GHA DISCOVERY will contribute US$1 per booking, to charities supported by alliance brands, for every member booking made on the GHA DISCOVERY website or mobile app between 8th and 31st December 2021 for travel completed by 30th June 2022. The charities encompass multiple causes, including programmes dedicated to education for children, healthcare and social wellbeing, environmental protection and animal welfare.
Ultra-luxurious hotels and resorts, including Niccolo Hotels, in GHA’s Ultratravel Collection are part of this offering, with its portfolio of best-in-class properties in sought-after destinations, including remote islands and off-the-beaten-track locations, appealing to traveller demand for bespoke luxury travel experiences.
About Wharf Hotels
The Spirit of Discovery
Emanating the spirit of discovery, Wharf Hotels, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Wharf (Holdings) Ltd, is based in Hong Kong SAR of China, and currently operates 17 owned or managed hotels under Niccolo or Marco Polo Hotels in Hong Kong, Mainland China and the Philippines. Niccolo Hotels was added to the group’s portfolio in 2015 as the luxury collection, positioning the brand as contemporary chic. The Murray, Hong Kong, a Niccolo Hotel, the brand's flagship hotel, was ranked as the top hotel in the city within a year of its opening. The recent opening of Niccolo Suzhou brings the brand’s collection to five hotels following the successes of Niccolo Chengdu, Chongqing and Changsha.
Marco Polo’s international deluxe hotels in established locations within Hong Kong, Mainland China and the Philippines maintain their ethos to explore, discover and experience a destination, drawing on the philosophies of their namesake, Marco Polo: an adventurer, a traveller, an entrepreneur and a connoisseur of culture – just as Marco Polo’s modern travellers are today. Wharf Hotels is a member of the Global Hotel Alliance. Further details are available at wharfhotels.com.
About GHA DISCOVERY
Launched in 2010, GHA DISCOVERY is the world’s largest loyalty programme for independent hotel brands, featuring more than 500 hotels, resorts and palaces across 35 brands. Members enjoy VIP recognition, thoughtful benefits and generous rewards at home or away. Recently the programme has evolved to include an additional tier and flexible paths to upgrade through nights/stays, eligible purchases or number of brands stayed, making it easier and faster for members to reach elite status. Unlike more traditional programmes, GHA DISCOVERY does not ask members to count points towards their next upgrade. Instead, members earn and spend DISCOVERY Dollars (D$), an exclusive rewards currency. They also enjoy members-only Experiences curated by each hotel and have access to properties close to home, without a stay, through member-only Local Offers. For more information about GHA DISCOVERY or to join, visit www.ghadiscovery.com or download the GHA DISCOVERY mobile app. Travellers can also connect with GHA DISCOVERY on Instagram and Facebook.