Accor, a world-leading hospitality group, and Alibaba Group, the world’s largest retail commerce business, have entered into a strategic partnership aiming to develop a series of digital applications and loyalty programs to improve the consumer and traveler experience over the next five years.
The announcement was made in a special ceremony in Beijing, during the 2019 China International Import Expo.
The strategic collaboration is expected to leverage Alibaba’s nearly 700 million consumers across its China retail marketplaces to enable more Chinese travelers to enjoy Accor’s world-class consumer offerings.
Meanwhile, 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 travelers. 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 travelers.
“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,” said Daniel Zhang, Executive Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group.
The collaboration between Accor and Alibaba will also 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, leveraging its ecosystem, consumer insights and digital marketing capabilities, accelerating the roll-out of ALL in China and around the world.
“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,” said Accor Chairman & CEO Sebastien Bazin.
Accor offers three hotel brands in Greece: Sofitel and Novotel in the Greek capital, and ibis Styles in Athens and Heraklion, Crete. In 2020, Accor is expected to open another hotel in Athens which will operate under its MGallery brand.