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Anantara Kihavah Maldives VillasUAE-headquartered Global Hotel Alliance, the world’s largest alliance of 40 independent hotel brands, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary, has reported record 2023 results, with every key performance metric hitting an all-time high.

Total room revenue of the GHA DISCOVERY loyalty programme, shared by all brands and their collective 800 hotels, reached US$2.3 billion, surpassing 2022 by more than US$1 billion. This reflects the growth and engagement of the loyalty member base, which crossed the 25 million mark in 2023 and achieved 2.7 million new member enrolments for the year compared to 1.6 million in 2022.

Repeat stay revenue surpassed the billion-dollar mark for the first time, increasing 60% year-on-year to US$1.4 billion, while hotel cross-brand revenue jumped 71% to $289 million, demonstrating GHA DISCOVERY’s successful loyalty model, which incentivizes members to enjoy the programme’s benefits, including earning and spending their DISCOVERY Dollars (D$) rewards currency, across its 40 member brands.

With more members understanding the value of D$ (D$1 equal to US$1) – as easy to redeem as cash toward the bill at checkout – D$ redemptions more than doubled year over year. Redemption spiked during key 2023 holiday periods, with December seeing the highest redemption rate since the rewards currency was launched two years ago.

“Our record 2023 results reflect how our customers have embraced the GHA DISCOVERY programme and its new rewards currency, which offers incredible value and choice to members” said GHA CEO Chris Hartley.

“With more upscale and luxury hotels and brands continuing to join GHA amid record revenues in 2023, we embark on our 20th anniversary celebrations this year in great shape and primed for further growth.” 

Chris Hartley CEO Global Hotel Alliance horizontal

Key booking preferences of GHA DISCOVERY members in 2023:

International travel dominates

International stays contributed 60% of all revenue in 2023, with countries receiving the most being the Maldives (100% of all revenue was from international stays), Thailand (90%), Portugal (88%), the Netherlands (83%), UAE (77%), Singapore (75%) and Italy (74%).

 US and UK travellers stay and spend overseas most

The US (US$205 million) and the UK (US$111 million) were the top feeder markets for international stays at GHA properties, followed by Germany (US$67 million), Australia (US$56 million), and China (US$45 million).

Destination hotspots

Top destinations in terms of international stay room revenue reveal Thailand is the most popular overall, favoured by members in the US (US$10.3 million spend), followed by members in the UK (US$9 million). The UAE is the second most popular overall, favoured by members in the UK (US$16.6 million spend) and members in Russia (US$11 million). Members in the US favoured overseas travel to the Caribbean (US$26 million) and Italy (US$25.3 million) followed by the UK (US$15.7 million), while Australian members preferred Singapore (US$10.1 million).

 GHA booking channels preferred

GHA direct web and app bookings doubled in 2023 (+99% versus 2022), with average spend per member 65% higher on GHA DISCOVERY’s direct channels compared to other third-party channels.

“We marked many milestones in 2023, all of which gave members more reasons to stay within our programme, from introducing a cruise component through our partnership with Regent Seven Seas Cruises, to helping travellers identify hotels committed to sustainability best practices with the introduction of our Green Collection, all while enriching our hotel portfolio with new destinations and an even wider range of hotel options, which has boosted loyalty to record levels”, adds Hartley.