Marriott International has signed a new partnership with China’s Ant Group, which owns online payment platform Alipay, to help it drive more business in the region.
Marriott will now give Alipay members a range of benefits when they sign up to Marriott’s loyalty program Bonvoy, including digital coupons for an afternoon tea at its hotels, or the chance to enter a lucky draw by spending at the hotel.
Breakfast promotions are also offered at various cities, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Chengdu and Sanya.
The tie-up is the latest deal in its plan to leverage loyalty to bolster its presence in across Asia.
The hotel group already has a joint venture with e-commerce giant Alibaba in China. Marriott considers its storefront on Fliggy, Alibaba’s travel division where it sells its global hotel inventory, to be a direct-booking channel with costs that are lower than going through online travel agency distribution.
Marriott said this latest Alipay partnership is in addition to the 10-plus million newly-enrolled members the company has gained through various channels since 2017 in China, including through Fliggy, as well as other Ant initiatives.
Marriott International has 450 operating hotels across 23 brands in Greater China.
“To support the recovery of the travel industry, we are looking to offer exclusive travel experiences for high-net-worth members using Alipay,” said Henry Lee, President, Greater China, Marriott International.
Marriott has previously launched Korea’s first-ever co-branded hotel credit cards, and two new co-branded cards have also been launched in Japan.
“Marriott Bonvoy really is at the heart of our consumer strategy and we are doing everything we can to grow the program,” Bart Buiring, chief sales and marketing officer for Asia Pacific at Marriott International, previously said.