Omni to leave the Discovery loyalty program and it’s going to hurt
Omni Hotels and Resorts has maintained a partnership with the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) and its Discovery loyalty program for quite some time.
However, the chain has recently shared that it will part ways with both GHA and Discovery come June 30, 2021. According to Peter Strebel, president, Omni Hotels and Resorts, the move was made "with the goal of focusing on the evolution of [its] Select Guest program and [its] internal Omni customers."
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
GHA's Discovery program encompasses more than 570 hotels representing 35+ independent luxury brands across the globe. While Omni Select Guest and GHA Discovery are not the same program, they've been intertwined with each other. That's allowed Omni elite members to match their status to Discovery (the two programs currently have the same status tiers) and take advantage of benefits.
Omni's membership updates page explains what members can expect once the two programs go their separate ways in June. Here are the most important points:
- Omni Select Guest members will stop receiving reciprocal benefits at properties affiliated with the Discovery program
- While log-in credentials for discoveryloyalty.com will expire on June 30, anyone can register separately for the Discovery program, and Select Guest members who have stayed at a Discovery property will see their membership in the program continue automatically
- After June 30, stays at GHA properties will not count toward Select Guest status qualification progress
- Local Experience Awards will no longer be offered at Omni properties after June 30
- Anyone with an unused Local Experience Award will be able to continue to use them at participating Discovery properties
Likely the biggest impact of this split of the two programs will be the inability to use Local Experience Awards at Omni properties.
As TPG's Richard Kerr has written about before, the most valuable perk available to Platinum and Black members in the Discovery program is the ability to earn Local Experience Awards, which can be redeemed for property-specific excursions, meals or property credits. And many times, these experiences represent a tremendous value, depending on where you are and what you pick specifically.
While Omni doesn't have a particularly expansive property portfolio, the properties it does have are high quality and in top destinations around the country, so this change will hurt any traveler that's been able to leverage the perk on past Omni stays.
Omni Select Guest members shouldn't notice any interruption to their membership within the program, though come June 30, members will no longer earn or receive benefits at Discovery properties, unless they decide to continue in that program separately.
The most disappointing change resulting from the dissolution of this relationship is that Local Experience Awards will no longer be offered at Omni properties. We hope that as Omni begins to evolve its own loyalty program, it's cognizant of the tremendous value these awards provide to guests and develop something that matches -- or surpasses -- that offering.