Zurich, Switzerland, April 12, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / ASMALLWORLD has successfully completed the acquisition of a 10% stake in Global Hotel Alliance. Through this strategic investment in the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, the company secures new revenue streams and access to more than 750 hotels and over 20 million customers.
Today, ASMALLWORLD AG successfully completed the acquisition of a 10% stake in Global Hotel Alliance (GHA). The companies announced this strategic investment at the end of December 2021.
Of the total purchase price of USD 4.5M, ASMALLWORLD AG has paid the full cash portion of USD 3.5M today and in return received a 10% stake in Global Hotel Alliance. A share payment amounting to a 3% stake in ASMALLWORLD AG is still outstanding. Management foresees that ASMALLWORLD will create new shares from authorised capital, which will be voted on by shareholders at the Annual General Meeting on 29 April. If shareholders approve this proposal, the issuance of these shares, excluding the pre-emptive rights of all other shareholders, is expected to take place in May 2022.
“With the closing of this transaction, we can now turn our focus on the implementation of this strategic collaboration, which is expected to have a significant impact on our growth and profitability going forward,” commented Jan Luescher, CEO of ASMALLWORLD.
ASMALLWORLD will receive a seat on GHA’s Board of Directors in June
It is expected that both companies will be represented on their respective Boards of Directors. ASMALLWORLD CEO Jan Luescher will take a seat on the GHA Board of Directors from June 2022. On the other hand, ASMALLWORLD shareholders will vote on 29 April 2022 to decide whether to elect GHA CEO Chris Hartley to the ASMALLWORLD Board of Directors.
Significant potential to accelerate growth for the ASMALLWORLD community
Going forward, ASMALLWORLD will support GHA’s hotel loyalty programme GHA DISCOVERY by providing its services to GHA’s most important customers. As part of the partnership, GHA DISCOVERY will be able to offer its elite tier members (those customers who have earned the highest membership levels) access to the ASMALLWORLD social network free of charge. This will allow GHA DISCOVERY elite members to enjoy all the benefits of the ASMALLWORLD travel and lifestyle network, which is expected to increase customer engagement, ultimately leading to more hotel bookings for the alliance’s hotels. Under the terms of the partnership, both parties are incentivised to grow each other’s revenue base. ASMALLWORLD expects that the new customers from this partnership will significantly expand the size of the ASMALLWORLD community.
GHA DISCOVERY – a hotel loyalty programme with more than 20 million customers
When NH Hotel Group is integrated into the alliance in 2022, GHA will be a network of 40 independent hotel chains with over 800 hotels in 100 countries, sharing a common loyalty platform. GHA DISCOVERY’s hotels include internationally renowned luxury brands such as Kempinski, Anantara, Corinthia, Pan Pacific, Capella and Nikki Beach. GHA DISCOVERY is the world’s largest loyalty programme for independent hotel brands. When NH Hotels Group merges its NH Rewards loyalty programme into GHA DISCOVERY in mid-2022, GHA DISCOVERY will have more than 20 million members.
The GHA DISCOVERY programme allows members to collect and spend rewards across the entire GHA hotel network. Based on the number of stays, nights or spend per year, members may also obtain one of multiple status levels, which offer additional hotel benefits such as room upgrades and faster earning of rewards.
Initially, ASMALLWORLD will provide access to its services for GHA DISCOVERY’s elite tier members and support GHA with the delivery of the programme. The companies will also offer additional ASMALLWORLD products and services to the entire GHA DISCOVERY customer base.
‘ASMALLWORLD Hotels & Resorts’ to be added to the GHA DISCOVERY brand portfolio as a new hotel brand
The two companies will also work together to expand GHA’s hotel portfolio. As part of the agreement, ASMALLWORLD has received the mandate to recruit independent hotels for GHA, and the brand “ASMALLWORLD Hotels & Resorts” will be added to GHA DISCOVERY’s hotel brand portfolio as a soft brand. Going forward, newly-recruited independent hotels can then join GHA’s hotel network under the ASMALLWORLD Hotels & Resorts brand.
Until now, GHA mostly did not offer independent individual hotels a path to join its network as it primarily served hotel chains. The cooperation with ASMALLWORLD closes this gap, and provides an opportunity for independent individual hotels to join the network.
Transaction opens up significant new revenue streams for ASMALLWORLD
The enhanced partnership and strategic investment open up multiple new revenue streams for ASMALLWORLD. Most importantly, the company will be rewarded on spend generated by members signing up through the partnership. In addition, ASMALLWORLD will have the opportunity to sell additional products and services to this valuable customer group, once they become part of the ASMALLWORLD social network. GHA and ASMALLWORLD also plan to offer various ASMALLLWORLD products to the more than 20 million non-elite GHA DISCOVERY members which will create additional sales from GHA’s large member base. Together with these new revenue streams, and its stake in the future growth of GHA, this investment is expected to significantly expand ASMALLWORLD’s earning potential over the next few years and further accelerate its profitable growth.
About Global Hotel Alliance (GHA)
Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) brings together a unique collection of independent hospitality brands with GHA DISCOVERY, a multi-brand loyalty programme leveraging a shared technology platform. Through membership in GHA, brands expand their global reach, drive incremental revenue, and reduce dependence on third-party channels, all while maintaining management independence and individual positioning. GHA represents a collection of 35 brands with over 500 hotels in 85 countries serving 11 million members. The award-winning GHA DISCOVERY programme generates approximately $2 billion in revenue and more than eight million room nights annually. GHA’s brands currently include Anantara, Araiya, Avani, Campbell Gray, Capella, Corinthia, Discovery Destinations, Divani, Doyle, Elewana, Fauchon, GLO, JA Resorts, Kempinski, Leela, Lungarno, Marco Polo, Mysk, Niccolo, Nikki Beach, NUO, Oaks, Outrigger, Pan Pacific, PARKROYAL COLLECTION, PARKROYAL, Patina, The Residence by Cenizaro, Shaza, Sukhothai, Sun International, Tivoli, Ultratravel Collection and Viceroy.
About GHA DISCOVERY
Launched in 2010, GHA DISCOVERY is the world’s largest loyalty programme for independent hotel brands, featuring more than 500 hotels, resorts and palaces across 35 brands. Members enjoy VIP recognition, thoughtful benefits and generous rewards at home or away. Recently the programme has evolved to include an additional tier and flexible paths to upgrade through nights/stays, eligible purchases or number of brands stayed, making it easier and faster for members to reach elite status. Unlike more traditional programmes, GHA DISCOVERY does not ask members to count points towards their next upgrade. Instead, members earn and spend DISCOVERY Dollars (D$), 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.