NH Hotel Group will join Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) and merge the NH Rewards loyalty program with GHA’s Discovery loyalty program in early 2022, establishing Discovery as one of the 10 largest loyalty programs in the hospitality sector, with more than 900 participating hotels.
Based in Madrid, the NH Hotel Group, operates more than 360 hotels in 30 countries, primarily in Europe and South America, under three brands, NH Hotels, NH Collection and nhow. NH Hotel Group is majority-owned by Minor Hotels, a Bangkok-based operator of more than 160 hotels and a GHA shareholder. Minor’s global family of brands such as Anantara, Avani, Elewana Collection, Oaks and Tivoli are already member brands of the alliance and participate in Discovery.
“NH will strengthen the alliance during what has been a difficult period for the hospitality industry, further leveraging our collective buying power and collaborative marketing efforts,” said Chris Hartley, GHA’s CEO. “It also gives our 17 million-plus Discovery members access to hundreds of new locations in South America, Spain, Germany, Italy and Benelux, where until now we had limited coverage.”
The announcement comes as GHA is preparing to launch a redesigned version of its Discovery program during the fourth quarter of 2021. There will be an array of new features, including a digital rewards currency and unique benefits and offers for local members even when not staying in the hotel.
Ramon Aragones, CEO, NH Hotel Group, who will be joining GHA’s board of directors, said, “Being part of Minor Hotels, we are already expanding NH’s presence into new markets, such as Australia. With Minor’s brands participating successfully in the Discovery loyalty program for many years, this was a logical step for NH and our customers. It enriches the choice for NH’s 10 million members, opening up destinations across Asia, Australia and North America; and makes us more competitive with a loyalty platform to rival the best in the industry. I am delighted to join Dillip Rajakarier, Minor’s CEO, on the GHA board, where I look forward to being involved in the strategic growth of the alliance through a strong collaboration with a fabulous collection of independent brands.”
GHA’s Discovery loyalty program was first launched in 2010 to help independent, upscale and luxury hotel brands compete with major global brands while retaining their individuality. The second iteration of the program is expected to launch in mid-October.