Two companies that we have recently covered, Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) and ASMALLWORLD, have decided to become shareholders in each other’s businesses and offer cross benefits.
GHA is a collection of soon 800 or so independent hotels; once NH Hotels joins in early 2022, and our readers know ASMALLWORLD for their Lufthansa Miles&More and Etihad Guest miles purchase packages (you also get an ASMALLWORLD membership thrown in).
You can access GHA Discovery here.
Here’s the announcement from GHA:
GLOBAL HOTEL ALLIANCE AND ASMALLWORLD TO BECOME SHAREHOLDERS IN EACH OTHER’S BUSINESSES; ENTER INTO LONG-TERM STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
Global Hotel Alliance and ASMALLWORLD AG combine the strengths of GHA DISCOVERY, the largest loyalty programme for independent hotel brands and ASMALLWORLD’s leading travel & lifestyle community
Dubai, UAE, 27 December 2021: UAE-headquartered Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, will enter into a strategic partnership agreement with ASMALLWORLD AG, the world’s leading travel & lifestyle community, and both companies will become shareholders in each other’s businesses when the transaction closes in March 2022. ASMALLWORLD AG will acquire a 10% stake in GHA in a part cash, part shares transaction, which will see GHA owning a 3% stake in a ASMALLWORLD AG.
This announcement comes on the heels of the recent relaunch of the GHA-operated loyalty programme GHA DISCOVERY, which now offers a unique digital rewards currency “DISCOVERY Dollars” plus a new “Live Local” concept, which offers access to benefits, activities, events and experiences in hotels, even when members are not travelling. ASMALLWORLD will support GHA with the delivery of this reimagined programme, in particular the “Live Local” concept. ASMALLWORLD will provide complimentary access to its own social network for GHA DISCOVERY’s elite tier members as an additional benefit free of charge. This will allow GHA DISCOVERY elite members to enjoy all the benefits of the ASMALLWORLD travel and lifestyle network, including events, experiences, and the opportunity to engage with a like-minded community, which is expected to increase customer engagement and drive repeat visits across the alliance’s hotel portfolio.
Once NH Hotel Group has completed its integration into the alliance in 2022, GHA will be a network of 40 independent hotel chains with over 800 hotels in 100 countries, and GHA DISCOVERY will have more than 20 million members. The new strategic partnership also provides ASMALLWORLD with a mandate to recruit independent hotels into the alliance under a new “ASMALLWORLD” hotel brand portfolio.
GHA’s CEO Chris Hartley comments:
“Joint activities with ASMALLWORLD have already proved successful and have highlighted the close synergies between our customer bases and the attractiveness of the complementary products and services, which bring value to each other’s membership propositions. ASMALLWORLD members who join GHA DISCOVERY tend to become some of our highest-spending customers across our hotels. It therefore feels like a natural next step in this growing partnership to become shareholders in each other’s businesses; and we will benefit from ASMALLWORLD’s insights and experience in areas such as social networking and events, which are a logical extension to our GHA DISCOVERY programme. We are excited about the new opportunities this collaboration will present; it will create a new social aspect to the travel experience of our top tier GHA DISCOVERY members, at a time when we are all optimistic about the recovery of travel in 2022.”
Jan Luescher, CEO of ASMALLWORLD:
“This strategic alliance between ASMALLWORLD and GHA opens up new opportunities for both companies. GHA can now offer its most valued customers direct access to the ASMALLWORLD network and ASMALLWORLD will be able to offer its core products to members of the GHA DISCOVERY programme, and in particular their highest-spending elite tier members. GHA will also offer ASMALLWORLD’s services to the entire GHA DISCOVERY’s 20-million-strong membership base, which will greatly increase our reach and sales potential.”
The transaction is expected to close in March 2022 and the new partnership will launch in mid-2022.
Not sure if I am the only one who doesn’t care about “social networking” and “events” that ASMALLWORLD offers, based on a cursory look of their presentation?
The main attraction in ASMALLWORLD has been the ability to essentially purchase a large number of Miles&More miles for a price and forget the rest of the membership.
I guess that this partnership may benefit some GHA Discovery elite members. However, it remains to be seen how this is implemented and what benefits are rolled out in mid-2022.