Global Hotel Alliance has announced two new member brands, both from the Nordic region: Thon Hotels is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, and GLO Hotels is based in Helsinki, Finland. Together with existing GHA member First Hotels, GHA now has 120 hotels across Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark, giving it significant coverage of these travel markets.
Thon Hotels is part of the Olav Thon Group, and was established in 1989. It is Norway’s third largest hotel chain and has 9,300 rooms and over 64 hotels in Norway, five hotels in Belgium one in the Netherlands and one in Sweden. Intra-regional business travel is Thon Hotels’ strength, with hotels designed specifically for the business and convention traveler. Thon Hotels also has properties in some of Norway’s Arctic Circle, a very popular destination for leisure travelers.
GLO Hotels is part of The Kämp Group, and has four hotels in Helsinki, three of which are downtown and one at the airport. GLO completes GHA’s presence in the region with its first hotels in Finland. Aarne Hallama, CEO of The Kämp Group, sees not only additional choice for GLO’s outbound customers, but the opportunity to gain market share in Helsinki: “We are a well-known, local Finnish lifestyle brand and we need access to our key feeder markets in Sweden, Russia the UK and Germany," Hallama said. "GHA membership will help us...to reach customers in these markets, which we cannot do effectively alone.”
Chris Hartley, GHA’s CEO, said that the Alliance, at 425 hotels, is gaining strength in key regional markets, including the Nordic region. “This, in turn, is helping us drive more business to our member brands, so everyone in the alliance benefits from our growth because of the collaborative nature of our business, and in particular our sharing 4 million customers through our loyalty program, GHA Discovery.”
As independent properties continue to look at how they can compete for market share with the mega-chains, Hartley expects more brands to join the Alliance.