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Global Hotel Alliance Welcomes Two New Members

Anantara, Asia's Luxury Resort & Spa Brand, And Cham Group, In The Middle East, Become The Eighth And Ninth Members

Global Hotel Alliance Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) is delighted to welcome two unique hotel brands to its membership, as it grows to nine members and further solidifies its reputation as the ideal organization for enabling small and mid-size independent brands to compete more effectively with the mega-chains, through mutual collaboration in their sales, marketing and distribution activities. This alliance is worldwide on 6 major continents.

Anantara (www.anantara.com) is a collection of six spa resorts in some of Asia's most exotic destinations. Inspired by local architecture, and sensitive to the indigenous culture, Anantara Resorts are currently located in Thailand in the seaside town of Hua Hin, on Koh Samui, in the Golden Triangle, and also in the Maldives and in Bali, with several new resorts already under development. Each Anantara resort boasts one of their eponymous spas, which have received accolades and awards from around the world.

Michael Sagild, Anantara's Chief Operating Officer, is delighted to be joining GHA: 'Anantara Resorts has established a solid reputation for offering an experience to guests unlike any other, one that couples serenity with exoticism and state-of-the-art convenience with indigenous charm. Our Membership of GHA will enable us to broaden our reach and communicate our brand to more customers, through new marketing channels, together with our GHA partners'.

Cham Group comprises Cham Palaces & Hotels (www.chamhotels.com), which is a collection of eleven city and resort hotels in Syria and Jordan and soon Algeria. Some, such as the Cham Palace in Damascus, are the true historical palace hotels of the region.

Royal Regency International Hotels is also part of the Cham Group (www.royalregencyhotels.com) with its properties in Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Marsa Allam in Egypt and Minsk. Cham Group's hotels complement other GHA member hotels in the region, and will form part of strong network of GHA hotels in the Middle East.

Dr Ghassan Aidi, Cham's President, is buoyant about their prospects as a member of GHA: 'It's not always easy marketing a local brand out of the Middle East, but these beautiful countries are steeped in history, and boast destinations such as Petra in Jordan, which was recently voted as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and Palmyra and Afamia in Syria, which are set to become a 'must-visit' on the tourist map in a region where the hotel business is already growing exponentially. GHA helps us to communicate our brand and to promote our destinations to customers who are looking to do business in the region or who wish to discover first-hand our magnificent history and cultural heritage.'

Anantara and Cham will use GHA's central reservations system, gha.net, powered by the technology of its partner Micros-Fidelio, and Chris Hartley, GHA's CEO, is bullish about the prospects of continuing success for GHA and its members. 'In 2007, gha.net generated over $10m in incremental revenue to our members, while providing $1.5m in distribution cost savings. The addition of Anantara and Cham as new members, plus the prospect of more to come, enhances GHA's ability to reduce costs for its members and cross-sell to each other's customers, thus creating an ever-improving value proposition.'

GHA's members are all regional brands, offering truly local experiences, and an attractive alternative to the standardized, chain experience. 'Anantara and Cham fit GHA's cultural mould perfectly in this regard.' Hartley added.

About the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA)
Global Hotel Alliance currently comprises 7 luxury brands encompassing 151 upscale and luxury hotels with over 43,000 rooms in 39 different countries. Each brand is a key player in their main region of operation: Kempinski in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Omni in North America, Pan Pacific in the Pacific Rim, The Leela Group in India, Dusit in Thailand, Landis in Taiwan and China, and Marco Polo in China and Hong Kong. GHA will continue to grow to include selected hotel brands in those regions not currently covered by the alliance.

www.globalhotelalliance.com
www.dusit.com www.kempinski.com
www.landishotelsresorts.com www.theleela.com
www.omnihotels.com www.panpacific.com www.marcopolohotels.com




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