Alibaba Group and Marriott International to jointly accentuate travel experience

Joint venture to create seamless, insight-based travel services, with Alibaba serving as gateway to more than half a billion Chinese consumers

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Marriott International, Inc. 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.

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. Marriott’s owners and franchisees globally will benefit from the joint venture by capturing a greater share of this growing Chinese travel market and lower distribution costs associated with the joint venture.

The joint venture will elevate the travel experience for Chinese travelers in the following ways:

  • Making global travel easy: The joint venture will provide newly-integrated functionality to make the travel experience smooth, from planning, booking, paying and managing a trip to all of the activities associated once at the destination like shopping, dining, and sightseeing. The joint venture will deliver user-friendly technology solutions that will open up a world of travel options for Chinese consumers.
  • Personalized and VIP experiences: The joint venture will leverage technology to curate customized experiences for Chinese consumers. Marriott will offer access to private concerts, family-focused experiences, and courtside seats at sporting and other events through its Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Moments and Marriott Rewards Moments programs. Eligible members from Alibaba’s loyalty program will benefit from personalized hospitality programs and Marriott’s award-winning SPG ambassador program.
  • Wallet-free travel: Alipay will be accepted at Marriott hotels in select global markets with further expansion expected around the world.
  • Next-Gen loyalty: Connecting Marriott’s award-winning loyalty platform – Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and SPG – with Alibaba’s large-scale consumer reach will establish a new benchmark for the next-generation loyalty program.

Source: Marriott International