Global Hotel Alliance (“GHA”), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, and operator of the award-winning, multi-brand loyalty programme, DISCOVERY, announced that Sun International will become the latest addition to its growing network of over 35 independent brands and 570 hotels in 85 countries.
Headquartered in Johannesburg, and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Sun International is one of the largest gaming and hospitality groups in South Africa, with the flagship Sun City Resort including The Palace of the Lost City hotel, and leading luxury and lifestyle hotels such as The Table Bay in Cape Town and The Maslow in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Chris Hartley, GHA’s CEO, commented that Sun International will join the alliance at a pivotal moment in mid-2021, spurred on by what everyone hopes will be a recovery in international travel later this year: “Finding a strong partner to enter South Africa has long been a priority for GHA, and this positive news reflects our optimism that the travel industry will soon be on the road to recovery. We are proud to welcome Sun International as GHA’s member brand in South Africa, and we are confident that they will benefit greatly from joining the alliance. They will immediately have access to a global audience of over 17 million DISCOVERY members; and we know from our research that South Africa is a popular destination for our customer base.”
Anthony Leeming, CEO of Sun International, adds: “Joining Global Hotel Alliance marks an exciting step for Sun International and our guests and represents an important evolution in our guest recognition and rewards strategy. In parallel with Sun International’s Most Valued Guest (MVG) loyalty scheme, our recognition programme for gaming members, GHA’s DISCOVERY loyalty programme will enable us to better recognise and reward our hotel guests and welcome new customers. Notwithstanding the challenging environment faced by the global hospitality industry, our decision to join GHA could not happen at a more critical time in our company’s history, and we look forward to a successful partnership with GHA.”
The integration and launch of Sun International’s properties into GHA is expected to be completed by mid-2021. The Table Bay hotel in Cape Town is expected to go live first in April, followed by the rest of Sun International’s properties.
Created in 2010, with the goal of helping independent, upscale and luxury hotel brands to compete with the global majors while retaining their individuality, GHA’s DISCOVERY loyalty programme celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2020.