Ecommerce giant Alibaba and global hospitality company Marriott International have announced a joint venture aimed at helping Chinese tourists improve their travel experiences while travelling around China and overseas.
The partnership will see Alibaba tapping into Marriott’s international portfolio of brands and hospitality expertise to customise travel experiences, while Marriot’s storefront will be featured on Fliggy, Alibaba’s travel service platform that will market directly to millions of its users.
The travel industry is experiencing a huge growth in China, with more than 700 million trips expected to be taken over the next five years and this joint venture will give Marriott the edge because of its wide selection of hotels that travellers can choose from.
“We have long admired Alibaba’s digital expertise and deep understanding of Chinese consumers’ needs and behaviors,” said Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive officer, Marriott International.
“By forming this partnership, we are pairing our hospitality expertise with Alibaba’s digital travel plaform, 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.”
Marriott became the world number one hotel group last year after beating off competition at the 11th hour to purchase Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.