Alibaba Group, Marriott International announce joint venture
To create seamless, insight-based travel services, with Alibaba serving as gateway to over half a billion Chinese consumers
Alibaba Group Holding and Marriott International have established a joint venture to redefine the travel experience for millions of Chinese consumers. This venture will leverage Marriott Internationalâ€™s global brand portfolio and hospitality expertise along with Alibabaâ€™s digital retail leadership and its role as a gateway for international companies to reach over 500 million mobile monthly active users across its platforms. Drawing on their joint resources, the undertaking will manage Marriottâ€™s storefront on Fliggy, Alibabaâ€™s travel service platform. It will also market directly to Alibabaâ€™s customer base, provide a link between Marriottâ€™s loyalty programmes and Alibabaâ€™s loyalty programme, and support Marriott hotels globally with content, programmes and promotions customised for the Chinese traveler.
The travel industry is an important growth opportunity as Chinaâ€™s travellers are expected to take an estimated 700 million trips over the next five years. This new initiative is designed to satisfy their expectations for seamless, integrated, personalised, and convenient travel solutions that connect them directly to Marriottâ€™s portfolio of brands. Marriottâ€™s owners and franchisees globally will benefit from the venture by capturing a greater share of the growing Chinese travel market and lower distribution costs associated with the joint venture.
â€śWe are proud to join forces with Marriott International â€“ combining our large-scale consumer base, leading-edge technology and consumer insights with their unparalleled hospitality expertise,â€ť said Daniel Zhang, CEO, Alibaba Group. â€śTogether, we are elevating and redefining the travel experience for Chinese consumers to be more seamless and personalized as they embark on adventures to discover the world.â€ť
Arne Sorenson, president and CEO, Marriott International added, â€śBy forming this partnership, we are pairing our hospitality expertise with Alibabaâ€™s digital travel platform, retail expertise and digital payment platform, Alipay, and driving membership to our loyalty programmes. With the growing number of Chinese consumers exploring new destinations, this venture will introduce our hotels worldwide to this new and growing traveling class.â€ť
The joint venture will elevate the journey experience for Chinese travellers by:
â€˘ Making global travel easy: Providing newly-integrated functionality to make the entire travel experience frictionless from planning, booking, paying and managing a trip to all of the activities associated at the destination like shopping, dining and sightseeing. It will deliver user-friendly technology solutions to open up a world of travel options.
â€˘ Personalised and VIP experiences: Leverage technology to curate customised experiences. Marriott will offer access to private concerts, family-focused experiences, and court-side seats at sporting and other events through its Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Moments and Marriott Rewards Moments programmes. Eligible members from Alibabaâ€™s loyalty programme will benefit from personalised hospitality programmes and Marriottâ€™s award-winning SPG ambassador programme.
â€˘ Wallet-free travel: Accept Alipay at Marriott hotels in select global markets with further expansion expected around the world.
â€˘ Next-Gen loyalty: Connect Marriottâ€™s loyalty platform â€“ Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and SPG â€“ with Alibabaâ€™s large-scale consumer reach to establish a new benchmark for the next-generation loyalty program.
In addition Alibaba members can enroll in one of Marriottâ€™s loyalty programs and book exclusive Member Rates through one of Marriottâ€™s digital channels.