Member revenue is up by 68% on 2021, reaching 84% of pre-pandemic levels
UAE-headquartered Global Hotel Alliance, an alliance of independent hotel brands across the globe, has reported a nine-month performance that has exceeded its most optimistic forecasts, with total revenue generated by the 22 million members of its GHA Discovery loyalty programme of more than US$900 million, up 68% on 2021, and reaching 84% of 2019 figures during the same period.
The results are due to a combination of higher daily average rates and a 20% increase in the average length of hotel stays from January to September 2022 versus the same period in 2021.
The boost in performance is also driven by a global pent-up demand for leisure travel which can now take place.
The top three countries for GHA Discovery member stays during the period were all strong leisure destinations: the Maldives, Thailand and the UAE.
The most-visited cities were Dubai with a further 48% growth in stays compared to 2021, followed by Singapore and Bangkok.
The most visible signs of a post-pandemic travel rebound were reported for Phuket and Bangkok in Thailand with 535% and 345% growth in revenues respectively compared to 2021, followed by Honolulu, Hawaii with 305% and London, UK, with 300% growth.
Despite the ongoing disruption to air travel and pandemic-related restrictions, more than 60% of GHA Discovery revenues came from international stays, with this proportion growing over the summer months.
Domestic bookings remained critical in some markets because of travel restrictions, but also fuelled by a growing appetite for staycations, seen as safer than international travel following the pandemic.
More than 90% of Chinese member spending and 88% of Indian member spending was in their home countries
In contrast, the highest-spending international travellers came from the USA (US$ 76 million), UK (US$ 71m) and Germany (US$ 60m), representing over a quarter of total revenues.
Commenting on the findings, GHA CEO Chris Hartley said: “Our 2022 performance to date has exceeded all expectations, not only demonstrating travel’s enduring attraction, as it bounces back from the pandemic, but the success of our growth strategy, underpinned by the reinvention of GHA Discovery and the addition of new hotel brand partners to our alliance.”
The 2022 summer holiday season was another performance driver, with August proving the alliance’s second-strongest month ever, delivering revenues just shy of March 2019's record performance.
The average length of stays across all markets globally increased further in Q3 2022 versus the same period in 2021.
Europe (64% increase in length of stay), Oceania (31%) and the Middle East (11%) were the top performing regions
Hartley added: “With the leisure travel rebound accelerating into Q4, business travel steadily on the up, evidenced in revenues from our major corporate accounts recovering to 81% of 2019 levels by the end of Q3, and with more D$ going into circulation, we are confident of a positive outlook for the full-year 2022 and heading into 2023."
One DISCOVERY Dollar (D$) equates to one US$ and members earn D$ at all properties in the GHA DISCOVERY collection. At checkout, D$ earned on previous stays can be used for extras as a form of payment. Members start earning D$ from day one, while the percentage earned on eligible spend increases with membership status.