Accor has formed a partnership with online marketplace Alibaba to make it easier for Chinese travelers to book rooms and other services. It's a smart move to appeal to Alibaba's 700 million high-spending consumers who are eager to travel around the world.
French hospitality giant Accor has partnered with Alibaba Group, a global retail commerce business, to develop digital applications and loyalty programs to appeal to Chinese consumers over the next five years.
Alibaba has about 700 million consumers in China, giving Accor an entrée into a lucrative market. Alibaba has a travel arm called Fliggy that will facilitate consumers booking hotels, catering services, and entertainment offerings through Accor. Customers will be able to use Alipay, a digital payment service operated by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial.
Accor has about 4,900 hotels and residences in 110 countries. The company has been making strategic partnerships with retailers such as the fragrance retailer Lola James Harper. It also rebranded earlier this year as Accor versus AccorHotels as it branches out into different sectors of the industry. The company said it would spend $255 million on a new loyalty program called ALL, which stands for Accor Live Limitless. Alibaba is helping on the rollout of that new program by offering digital marketing and other capabilities.
“China’s importance to the world’s tourism industry and this key collaboration with Alibaba will symbolically strengthen economic ties between China and France, while giving Chinese travelers access to exciting events and benefits through ALL – Accor Live Limitless,” Accor CEO Sébastien Bazin said.
Accor has also developed a program specifically for Chinese consumers called Haoke, which means “welcome” in Chinese. It’s a certification program that makes sure Accor hotels incorporate Chinese language in its signage and menus, Chinese dishes, Chinese-speaking staff, and other services. China’s middle class has been a significant target market as they look to travel more.
“Our consumer-facing business facilitates and stimulates consumption, of which travel consumption is an important segment,” Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said. “Through the Alibaba Business Operating System, we enable tourism industry partners such as Accor to fully digitize their business operations, from sales to marketing, brand building to member management and service innovations.”
Accor launched a flagship store on Fliggy in 2016 to sell its inventory of rooms. Alibaba has also had significant collaborations with other hotel companies, including one with Marriott International that launched in 2017.
Subscribe to Skift Pro
Subscribe to Skift Pro to get unlimited access to stories like these ($30/month)Subscribe Now
Photo Credit: Accor is partnering with online retailer Alibaba to appeal to Chinese travelers. This is a dining room at the Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Hotel. Accor
U.S. Hotel Performance Slips While China Roars Back to Life
The U.S. and China are riding a hotel performance see-saw where one goes up as the other comes down. But travel analysts and executives are downplaying the notion the Delta variant is going to lead to a travel doomsday scenario over the fall and winter.
Cameron Sperance | 3 days ago
Chinese Travelers Still See U.S. as Most Unsafe for Travel
Got the pandemic under control? That remains a key factor for Chinese tourists to go abroad, a new sentiment survey from Dragon Trail shows. None of that "living-with-the-virus" approach that some Asian destinations are starting to embrace.
Lebawit Lily Girma | 4 days ago
What Accor’s Top Technology Executive Has to Say May Surprise You
In his first interview since becoming Accor's chief technology officer, Floor Bleeker explains the hotel giant's contrarian tech strategy. Expect top tech players and Accor's rivals to take notice.
Sean O'Neill | 4 days ago