UAE-headquartered Global Hotel Alliance, the world’s largest alliance of independent hotels brands, has reported stronger-than-forecast H1 2023 results, with room revenue in its GHA DISCOVERY loyalty programme up a remarkable 122% year-on-year by the end of Q2.
This new high point has been consistently building since November 2022, reflecting sustained appetite for international stays at GHA’s diverse portfolio of 800 hotels across 40 brands in 100 countries, spanning dynamic city properties, idyllic resorts, nature-immersed retreats, and even luxury palaces.
With first-half total revenues topping US$1.2 billion, up 122% on H1 2022, July and August are building on this momentum, showing record-breaking performance potential. This is being driven by the growing number of travel-hungry GHA DISCOVERY loyalty programme members, whose number will reach the 25-million mark before the end of the year.
The five most popular destinations during the first six months of 2023, ranked in terms of total H1 revenue growth, were Thailand in the top-slot followed by Spain, the UAE, the Maldives, and Italy, while the USA remained the most important feeder market for international stays in terms of contribution to room revenue. Meanwhile the top five countries commanding the highest ADRs were St Lucia, Israel, the Maldives, the Seychelles and Switzerland.
China’s travel comeback made its mark too, with total hotel revenue generated by GHA DISCOVERY members reaching US$40 million, a 62% increase compared to H1 2022 and up 4% versus the same period in 2019.
Cross-brand revenue continued to surge across the entire GHA portfolio to hit US$135 million in H1, demonstrating hotels are receiving incremental revenue from GHA DISCOVERY members staying and earning DISCOVERY D$ at one property and redeeming them as part of their stay at another. Of those D$ redeemed during H1, 28% were on a cross-brand stay, generating new customers for hotels. Once on property, those members spent on average 14 times the redemption amount.
Since the GHA DISCOVERY reimagination 18 months ago, which included the introduction of D$ – a digital currency first in the hospitality sector – more than D$116 million (worth US$116 million) have been issued. Chinese and Singaporean members were the most engaged in redeeming D$ as a percentage of D$ issued to them in H1, a clear sign the currency appeals to travellers in markets where travel demand is accelerating now that pandemic-related restrictions have been lifted.
Another incentive for all members to earn and spend their D$ is the growing choice of hotel brands and properties, with 21 new hotel additions in H1, ranging from luxury beach resorts to urban retreats in popular city destinations. They included several destination debuts for GHA hotel brands, such as Anantara Plaza Nice, the first Anantara in France; NH Dubai the Palm, a Middle East foray for NH; and Capella Sydney, the first Capella property in Australia.
“Our strong H1 numbers reflect the huge demand for leisure travel and the slow but steady recovery of business travel. We are now entering a phase of sustained growth, buoyed by a unique multi-brand loyalty programme that continues to grow its offering of new hotels and destinations,” said GHA CEO Chris Hartley.
Taking a look at the remainder of 2023, 64% of all member bookings are concentrated in 10 countries, led by Australia, which has jumped up from second place in 2022 to the top slot in 2023, followed by Singapore, China, Germany and Thailand. Meanwhile GHA’s first hotels in Japan – Pan Pacific and PARKROYAL hotels in Tokyo – are already the most booked hotels this year to date.
“With Q2 results hitting a new record and summer bookings overwhelmingly strong, coupled with the potential to capture catch-up demand from key source markets in Asia, and in particular China, the outlook for H2 is very promising, and we anticipate ending 2023 on a revenue and membership high,” Hartley concluded.