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GHA Discovery - New Program 2021

GHA Discovery - New Program 2021

Old Dec 12, 21, 9:20 pm
  #76  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
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Originally Posted by perthite View Post
Could wait to see how it pans out, but I don't see how anyone is being 'treated as trash'.

. If GHA are not expecting it to make a material difference to the number of titaniums, maybe wait to see what happens.
I think it just means no more privilege because all are full now of titaniums now. I've just tried booking for this week but no upgrade and early/late check out and no upgrade for the first time because they no longer have the availability. Seems like it's starting to dilute the elite status already as predicted.
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Old Dec 13, 21, 12:35 am
  #77  
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Originally Posted by Garreth Bales View Post
I think it just means no more privilege because all are full now of titaniums now. I've just tried booking for this week but no upgrade and early/late check out and no upgrade for the first time because they no longer have the availability. Seems like it's starting to dilute the elite status already as predicted.
I'm sorry you had a difficult booking experience but I suspect that the hotel was just telling you they are really full at this busy time of year. Only a handful of new Titanium members have qualified since last week under the new rules, so that will not have made any difference.

Room upgrades and late check-outs are usually only confirmed at the time of check-in, according to availability.

Last edited by GHA_Insider; Dec 13, 21 at 1:08 am
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Old Dec 13, 21, 11:36 pm
  #78  
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Originally Posted by GHA_Insider View Post
I can't share the inside data with you and the other thread participants directly but I can assure you that almost everyone qualifying for Titanium status in 2022 will be doing so because of their nights or their spending. Adding the 3 brands rule as another way of reaching that status is not likely to make a material difference to the numbers who will reach Titanium, based on historic stay behaviour patterns before the pandemic and over the last two years.
If this is the case, it means that most of your guests stayed at 1-2 brands per year only, and those who did 3+ were at 30 nights anyway. Consequently, if you had many guests at 1-2 brands only per year, that means giving out only 1-2 local experiences per year, then unsurprisingly based on such numbers the new program will be more "generous".

However for the FT crowd I suspect many here had the opportunity to stay at far more than 3 brands per year and simply getting 7% cash back will be a significant decline in value.
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Old Dec 14, 21, 3:10 am
  #79  
 
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Originally Posted by GHA_Insider View Post
I'm sorry you had a difficult booking experience but I suspect that the hotel was just telling you they are really full at this busy time of year. Only a handful of new Titanium members have qualified since last week under the new rules, so that will not have made any difference.

Room upgrades and late check-outs are usually only confirmed at the time of check-in, according to availability.
I think the issue, if you have not realized by now, is that loyal black members who have dedicatedly stay 30 nights per year no longer have any incentives to stay more than what is required to in order to maintain their status. We no longer have any clear additional benefits in staying more than required. Previously local experience and 9am check in/6pm check out was what sets GHA apart from other loyalty programs. However with the downgrade in benefits and the supposedly "generous" way of obtaining elite status, I would definitely invest my money at other hotel chains that provides similar or better benefits than just pure rebates.

GHA should honestly look at incentivizing previous loyal black members to continue staying with its brands. One suggestion would be to bring back local experience as an additional incentives. e.g. Once you hit 3 brands, you can still earn additional local experience for each additional unique brand you stayed on top of the 3 brands required to maintain status. Another suggestion would be to include an additional tier with differentiated benefits for those staying at more brands or more nights. Ideally whilst trying to reach out to the mass market with easier status achievement, you should not forget about those who have been loyal to GHA. Clearly there seems to be a lack of incentives for staying beyond more than what is required.
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Old Dec 14, 21, 5:54 am
  #80  
 
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Originally Posted by GHA_Insider View Post
I'm sorry you had a difficult booking experience but I suspect that the hotel was just telling you they are really full at this busy time of year. Only a handful of new Titanium members have qualified since last week under the new rules, so that will not have made any difference.

Room upgrades and late check-outs are usually only confirmed at the time of check-in, according to availability.
I believe the main issue is that existing black members no longer have any incentives to stay beyond what is required to maintain the status. GHA previously had a unique selling point of the local experience and 9am check in/6pm check out. However both of this benefits have been removed or reduced. In reality, I would invest my money on other loyalty program since GHA no longer has an edge as their rewards has been merely reduced to rebates which is similar or worst than other hotel programs. Basically what needs to be done is to incentivize the titanium members in wanting to continue staying at GHA's brands. While I understand the need to reach out to the mass market, one mustn't forget its loyal members who has dedicatedly earned 30 nights every year. One suggestion would be to make another tier above titanium with better benefits so that people will continue exploring and staying more at GHA's properties. Another suggestion would be to bring back local experience. For customers who have already hit 3 brands, perhaps they can earn one additional local experience for each new brands stayed beyond the 3rd brand.

*Edit as I thought my previous post was not published hence this new post*
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Old Dec 14, 21, 10:38 am
  #81  
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Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
If this is the case, it means that most of your guests stayed at 1-2 brands per year only, and those who did 3+ were at 30 nights anyway. Consequently, if you had many guests at 1-2 brands only per year, that means giving out only 1-2 local experiences per year, then unsurprisingly based on such numbers the new program will be more "generous".

However for the FT crowd I suspect many here had the opportunity to stay at far more than 3 brands per year and simply getting 7% cash back will be a significant decline in value.
We welcome your feedback and we'd like to get all types of members more engaged with the new programme, of course. In a typical hotel or airline loyalty programme, elite tier members represent around 5% of the membership base but 35% of the revenues, so they are very important.

We feel that we have corrected some unfairnesses in the old programme - for example we had a surprisingly large number of members who would take a 7-night holiday in a luxury resort, spend $20k on the stay and still be stuck on Gold level because we were only counting nights. That didn't feel right and previously we would try to correct it on an ad hoc basis but now those members will be properly promoted to the elite tiers under the new programme rules and receive rewards and status even if that is the only stay they make in a year.

The majority of our members live in locations where there is only 1 brand or maybe 2 brands available, so they would need to travel internationally to qualify for Titanium under the brand criterion. That has been difficult for them, especially over the last couple of years. They can still earn elite status through nights or spend criteria under the new programme. This will be the main way that most members qualify for Titanium tier.

The real road warriors who are doing a very large number of nights and/or brands and/or spending in a year will now be considered for the Red tier, which I'm not allowed to discuss but it certainly has richer benefits than the old Black tier or the new Titanium. It used to be reserved for VIPs and hotel owners but now it's open to the super-members. I'm sure that someone from FT will qualify in 2022 and they will be able to share the information, if they wish.

Under the previous version of the programme, you could optimize rewards (in the form of Local Experiences) by staying a small number of nights at a variety of different brands while paying low room rates. That was actually logistically difficult for most members, unless they happened to be based somewhere like Dubai, Bangkok, Singapore or London, where we have a range of brands available. Very few people followed that path. We think the new system is fairer while still offering rewards for the high-repeating guests and the high-spending guests.

On the check-in/ check-out timings, I think most hotels will be flexible towards Titanium members whenever they can, regardless of what it says in the rules. Just ask nicely and you might be pleasantly surprised. But sometimes it is simply not possible - the pandemic has driven very high levels of demand into our hotels in regions like the Maldives and Dubai over the Christmas and New Year period.
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Old Dec 14, 21, 4:01 pm
  #82  
 
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I have just done my first stay at a Discovery hotel (apartment style) as a Titanium member which had been earned via the PGR programme. The booking was made through the discovery website and showed as an upcoming stay on the new app.

On arrival I was told no rooms where available for a few hours and I then asked about how early checkin in for Titanium members works for future reference. This is when I asked if they able to see my membership level is titanium as I got the feeling they couldn't and was surprised to be told no, To get internet reception I needed to go outside and my partner was told they can see I have gold status only . After returning and showing my card on the App they where able to give me a room and a very thankfully a double upgrade . I now realised why when I called them a few days earlier asking about early checkin and upgrades for their brand and what they offered for status holders was given the answers I was.

I had a another booking with them for the following month but booked through the Oaks hotel website. This does not show up on the Discovery app or website and so asked the friendly staff at reception if it shows my status on the booking and same as the other it does not. Maybe I am doing something wrong but I was logged in both occasions so not sure what the issue is.
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Old Dec 14, 21, 7:44 pm
  #83  
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Originally Posted by GHA_Insider View Post
We feel that we have corrected some unfairnesses in the old programme - for example we had a surprisingly large number of members who would take a 7-night holiday in a luxury resort, spend $20k on the stay and still be stuck on Gold level because we were only counting nights.

The majority of our members live in locations where there is only 1 brand or maybe 2 brands available

The real road warriors who are doing a very large number of nights and/or brands and/or spending in a year will now be considered for the Red tier
For the first point, definitely GHA has nothing to lose by offering higher tiers to big spenders. Most hotel chains offer the spend-related route to top tier, it makes sense. Very few will criticize this new feature of the GHA program.

For the second point, FT probably has a greater proportion of people who are travelling in many countries and have access to multiple brands, compared to the general or average GHA member, many of which might travel domestically 95% of the time. So those voices will not be heard here on FT as much, relatively speaking. Domestic travellers in markets with only 1-2 brands will benefit from your change.

For the third point, the real road warriors are in greater proportion on FT, but like I mentioned previously the lack of clear target for Red tier is a significant deterrent, at least for me. I can make the same argument about IHG Royal Ambassador which is a moving (undisclosed) target. I achieve top tier with hotel chains when I know what I am shooting for (Marriott Ambassador, Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond), and if GHA told me what I need to do to reach Red and what the benefits are, there is a chance that I would move a significant number of nights away from my other hotel programs to stay at GHA when I can. But without knowing the target and the benefits, I am very unlikely to increase my GHA stays when Titanium / Black benefits remain the same or are being cut. I will possibly stop after 3 brands in a year or if I exceed it will not be by much. Perhaps over time if enough Red members share info here on FT about what benefits they received and how many nights / brands / spend they achieved in order to qualify, I would be in better position to revise my stance. But for now I do not intend to ramp up GHA stays, quite the contrary. That's unfortunate but it explains why the FT crowd might not be very well aligned with the customers who will benefit from the new program.

I am aware that members on FT might just be small fish in a big pond... you would like to have actively engaged members, and some folks here have written hotel reviews on FT for GHA properties which triggers some discussion and awareness of your hotels, but I suspect that is bound to decrease significantly going forward for reasons outlined above which hopefully you will find logical rather than emotion-based.
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Old Dec 14, 21, 9:32 pm
  #84  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
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Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
For the first point, definitely GHA has nothing to lose by offering higher tiers to big spenders. Most hotel chains offer the spend-related route to top tier, it makes sense. Very few will criticize this new feature of the GHA program.

For the second point, FT probably has a greater proportion of people who are travelling in many countries and have access to multiple brands, compared to the general or average GHA member, many of which might travel domestically 95% of the time. So those voices will not be heard here on FT as much, relatively speaking. Domestic travellers in markets with only 1-2 brands will benefit from your change.

For the third point, the real road warriors are in greater proportion on FT, but like I mentioned previously the lack of clear target for Red tier is a significant deterrent, at least for me. I can make the same argument about IHG Royal Ambassador which is a moving (undisclosed) target. I achieve top tier with hotel chains when I know what I am shooting for (Marriott Ambassador, Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond), and if GHA told me what I need to do to reach Red and what the benefits are, there is a chance that I would move a significant number of nights away from my other hotel programs to stay at GHA when I can. But without knowing the target and the benefits, I am very unlikely to increase my GHA stays when Titanium / Black benefits remain the same or are being cut. I will possibly stop after 3 brands in a year or if I exceed it will not be by much. Perhaps over time if enough Red members share info here on FT about what benefits they received and how many nights / brands / spend they achieved in order to qualify, I would be in better position to revise my stance. But for now I do not intend to ramp up GHA stays, quite the contrary. That's unfortunate but it explains why the FT crowd might not be very well aligned with the customers who will benefit from the new program.

I am aware that members on FT might just be small fish in a big pond... you would like to have actively engaged members, and some folks here have written hotel reviews on FT for GHA properties which triggers some discussion and awareness of your hotels, but I suspect that is bound to decrease significantly going forward for reasons outlined above which hopefully you will find logical rather than emotion-based.
I share the exact same sentiments as you. Having a transparent target of a higher tier would incentivize me to reach for it as opposed to a mystery target. I would rather spend my money at other hotel chains where I know my money spent guarantees a certain reward and benefit. GHA has done well by making it easier to achieve elite status for customer acquisition but it is subpar for customer retention. There really isn't any motivation to spend more at GHA for a similar or reduced benefit compared to other brands. Agree that while FT may just be a small fraction of the customers worldwide, I do believe that there will be many previous black members who feel the same way too. What GHA can really consider if they still want to keep their Red members criteria elusive is to create another higher tier than titanium with better benefits and higher qualifying criteria (but transparent).
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Old Dec 15, 21, 12:34 am
  #85  
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Originally Posted by Garreth Bales View Post
What GHA can really consider if they still want to keep their Red members criteria elusive is to create another higher tier than titanium with better benefits and higher qualifying criteria (but transparent).
Fully agreed. If there was a tier which included breakfast plus lounge access and occasional suite upgrades, it would be on par with some other chains such as Marriott, Hyatt, and Hilton. Then make it harder to achieve that tier for example 10 brands or 60 nights or $30k USD spend.
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Old Dec 15, 21, 1:58 am
  #86  
 
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From my perspective, the shortened early check-in and late check-out to 11 am/4 pm is a huge disappointment. One of the main reasons that I chose GHA, apart from the Local Experience, is the early-in and late-out benefits. However, it currently doesn't make that much difference with other programs' top tiers. The change from Local Experience to Discovery Dollars is another turn-off aspect for me. I have checked some Experiences for Thailand-based property that have already been uploaded to the GHA system and found that most of them are quite over-priced and not very attractive. The newly introduced spending criteria is one of the good points I saw from this enhanced program, but not the 3-brand qualification.

I discussed with some Thai GHA members in the local Facebook group and I can confirm that most people's opinions towards the new program are not what GHA would be happy with. It is true that 3-brand requirements will attract new joiners to the program, and it's true that as a Bangkok-based member, these criteria are certainly easy to reach. But currently, the brands are too independent. In recent months, Anantara Siam and Capella Bangkok do offers a lot of promotions but with the conditions that GHA benefit CANNOT be applied to that particular stay, while IHG, Accor, Marriott that have 10++ property in Bangkok do offer elite benefits on promotions, with some limitation, yes, but they still offer something. So many people are concerned that if the status is really easy to reach, then the property will widely apply these limitations to other room rates, hence, making no difference between the loyalty members and non-loyalty members.

IMO, most people here will be carrying the Titanium because it's easy to reach, yes, but with no loyalty or whatsoever. The hotel selections here in Bangkok, or even in Thailand are very wide, and I would only stay 3-brand (meaning, it would be only 3 nights) to maintain the Titanium or a little bit more nights depending on the property at my desired destinations. Because the rebate of 7% is not attractive enough considering the overpriced experiences offered and elite benefits. My IHG stays would provide me with points somewhat more valuable than that 7 % cashback as well.

FYI for FTers, from my recent stay experiences, the additional brand benefit for Titanium at Anantara properties is not available because the management still discusses what they would provide as a benefit, so do not expect anything if you have a stay.
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Old Dec 15, 21, 2:39 am
  #87  
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Originally Posted by Rambluesky View Post
In recent months, Anantara Siam and Capella Bangkok do offers a lot of promotions but with the conditions that GHA benefit CANNOT be applied to that particular stay,
FWIW, Sukhothai Bangkok is an even worse offender of this than Anantara Siam and Capella. They deny GHA benefits and night credits on promos that did not specifically exclude GHA in the terms & conditions.
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Old Dec 15, 21, 3:02 am
  #88  
 
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Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
FWIW, Sukhothai Bangkok is an even worse offender of this than Anantara Siam and Capella. They deny GHA benefits and night credits on promos that did not specifically exclude GHA in the terms & conditions.
Sukhothai BKK is on the top list of the property that loyalty members mean nothing. I had a stay with them and I can say that it is the most disappointing stay of 2021. Mediocre service pre-arrival, on-site, post-arrival, with the exception of F&B outlet. What is the point of having the staff assistance button in their control panel when in the practice there's no one showing up? Unacceptable cost-cutting policy for amenities without informing the guests. Shady terms & conditions on promotions, and no consistency when asking for clarification from reservations. I also send them feedbacks regarding the stay, but what I get is the patterned responses, such a waste of my time and effort to write feedback. One particular point that I would like to highlight is that the staff are more welcoming towards foreigners. I am not the only one feeling this, but many Thais stay there also feeling this way and have discussed this in the FB group. If the hotel is not going to welcome the locals, then please don't release the Thai Resident promotions. We booked a stay to help all businesses in this hard time, in this pandemic, but left disappointed instead.
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Old Dec 15, 21, 8:01 am
  #89  
 
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Originally Posted by GHA_Insider View Post
We welcome your feedback and we'd like to get all types of members more engaged with the new programme, of course. In a typical hotel or airline loyalty programme, elite tier members represent around 5% of the membership base but 35% of the revenues, so they are very important.

We feel that we have corrected some unfairnesses in the old programme - for example we had a surprisingly large number of members who would take a 7-night holiday in a luxury resort, spend $20k on the stay and still be stuck on Gold level because we were only counting nights. That didn't feel right and previously we would try to correct it on an ad hoc basis but now those members will be properly promoted to the elite tiers under the new programme rules and receive rewards and status even if that is the only stay they make in a year.

The majority of our members live in locations where there is only 1 brand or maybe 2 brands available, so they would need to travel internationally to qualify for Titanium under the brand criterion. That has been difficult for them, especially over the last couple of years. They can still earn elite status through nights or spend criteria under the new programme. This will be the main way that most members qualify for Titanium tier.

The real road warriors who are doing a very large number of nights and/or brands and/or spending in a year will now be considered for the Red tier, which I'm not allowed to discuss but it certainly has richer benefits than the old Black tier or the new Titanium. It used to be reserved for VIPs and hotel owners but now it's open to the super-members. I'm sure that someone from FT will qualify in 2022 and they will be able to share the information, if they wish.
.
To be honest, I was very happy when GHA introduce spending based elite requirements.
Previously, 1 night stays at Oaks Goldsbrough Sydney for around A$120/night giving me 1 nights stay credit just like when I stay at Capella Ubud's Keliki Valley tent at A$2100/night

As for 3 brands stay, I would say it could dilute the elite tiers as there are some countries that have more than 3 brands in 1 city.
Singapore for example, Kempinski, Capella, Pan Pacific, and Park Royal all in 1 city.
Dubai and Bali is another place where there are 3 or more GHA brands in 1 place.
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Old Dec 18, 21, 2:34 pm
  #90  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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New rookie, thinking of switching to GHA. What would be the best differences to Hilton, Marriott and IHG programs where I am top tier, but fed up with? I ditched already Radisson. And wanting to reduce to one or two programs for simplicity. Any statusmatch on GHA?
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