GHA DISCOVERY members registered via First Hotels have received following Emails declaring the leaving:
First Hotels has been a member of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) since 2010. During this period, all our members have been part of the DISCOVERY loyalty program in addition to being First Members. As of 1 January 2018, First Hotels is no longer a part of GHA
and seems all Gold members have received a challenge to Platinum via mail afterwards:
Although First Hotels is no longer a part of the global DISCOVERY loyalty programme as of 1 January 2018, you can still benefit from your DISCOVERY membership at 550 unique luxury hotels worldwide. We invite you to register now and stay at any DISCOVERY hotel before 31 March 2018 and receive an upgrade to Platinum level membership through 2019!
It's very likely that existing GHA Platinum members (First Hotels) will also receive complimentary challenge invitation as fast track to Black status. Same challenge can be expected if other brands decided to leave GHA alliance in the future.