Accor and Alibaba form strategic partnership
International hospitality group Accor and e-commerce giant Alibaba have entered a strategic partnership to develop a series of digital applications and loyalty programs to improve the consumer and traveller experience over the next five years.
The announcement was made at a ceremony in Beijing during this year’s China International
Import Expo. Accor was among the delegation of French companies accompanying President Emmanuel Macron on a state visit to China.
The strategic collaboration will leverage Alibaba’s nearly 700 million consumers across its China retail marketplaces to enable more Chinese travellers to access Accor’s consumer offerings. It will allow for a seamless integration of Accor’s customer journeys within Alibaba’s ecosystem. Alibaba’s travel arm Fliggy will allow consumers to book hotels, access catering services, book entertainment and take advantage of other lifestyle services. Payments can be made using Alipay, a digital payment service operated by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial.
Accor will also offer Chinese consumers a hassle-free hotel experience through its “Haoke” program – geared towards Chinese travellers. Haoke, which means “Welcome” in Chinese, is a certification program that ensures Accor’s hotels are ready to welcome Chinese guests by incorporating Chinese-language, Chinese dishes on menus, Chinese-speaking staff, and other services and payment systems that meet the needs of Chinese travellers.
The collaboration between Accor and Alibaba will be instrumental to the roll-out of Accor’s soon-to-be-launched lifestyle loyalty program, ALL – Accor Live Limitless. Alibaba will make the program’s services and benefits available to its massive consumer base, using its ecosystem, consumer insights and digital marketing capabilities, accelerating the roll-out of ALL in China and around the world.
“We are excited to enter into this strategic global partnership with Alibaba, a leading global technology company in the world,” said Accor’s chairman & CEO Sebastien Bazin. “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 travellers access to exciting events and benefits through ALL – Accor Live Limitless.”
“Over the past 20 years, Alibaba has formed two flywheels with one focused on consumers and the other on enterprises, said Alibaba Group executive chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang. “Our consumer-facing business facilitates and stimulates consumption, of which travel consumption is an important segment. Through the Alibaba business operating system, we enable tourism industry partners such as Accor to fully digitise their business operations, from sales to marketing, brand building to member management and service Innovations.”