Marriott International has joined forces with Alibaba to promote its global hotel portfolio in China.
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 customised for the Chinese traveller. Customers will also be able to pay for hotel stays using Alipay.
As incomes rise, China's middle class is looking for higher quality products and travel experiences, and Marriott is targeting this up and coming segment.
"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," said Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group. "Together, we are elevating and redefining the travel experience for Chinese consumers to be more seamless and personalised as they embark on adventures to discover the world."
"We have long admired Alibaba's digital expertise and deep understanding of Chinese consumers' needs and behaviors," added Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International.
"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."