Alibaba, Marriott announce joint venture to redefine travel experience

Alibaba, Marriott announce joint venture to redefine travel experience
Updated 17 August 2017

Alibaba, Marriott announce joint venture to redefine travel experience

Alibaba, Marriott announce joint venture to redefine travel experience

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Marriott International, Inc. have announced the establishment of a joint venture to redefine the travel experience for the hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers traveling abroad and domestically every year.
“The joint venture will leverage Marriott International’s global portfolio of brands and unparalleled hospitality expertise to revolutionize the travel experience as well as Alibaba’s digital retail leadership and its role as a gateway for international brands to reach over 500 million mobile monthly active users across its platforms,” a press release said.
Drawing on resources from both Marriott and Alibaba, the joint venture will manage Marriott’s storefront on Fliggy, Alibaba’s travel service platform. It will also market directly to Alibaba’s customer base, provide a link between Marriott’s loyalty programs and Alibaba’s loyalty program, and support Marriott hotels globally with content, programs and promotions customized for the Chinese traveler.
The travel industry is an important growth opportunity as China’s travelers are expected to take an estimated 700 million trips over the next five years.
Daniel Zhang, chief executive officer of Alibaba Group, said: “We are proud to join forces with Marriott International — combining our large-scale consumer base, leading-edge technology and consumer insights with their unparalleled hospitality expertise. Together, 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.”
Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive officer, Marriott International, said: “We have long admired Alibaba’s digital expertise and deep understanding of Chinese consumers’ needs and behaviors. By forming this partnership, we are pairing our hospitality expertise with Alibaba’s digital travel platform, retail expertise and digital payment platform, Alipay, and driving membership to our loyalty programs. With the growing number of Chinese consumers exploring new destinations, this venture will introduce our hotels worldwide to this new and growing traveling class.”
The joint venture will leverage technology to curate customized experiences for Chinese consumers. 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) loyalty program.