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Alibaba Group, Marriott International enter into JV

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Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Marriott International Inc have entered into a joint venture to redefine travel experience for Chinese consumers traveling abroad and domestically every year.

Drawing on resources from both Marriott and Alibaba, 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 programmes and Alibaba’s loyalty programme, and support Marriott hotels globally with content, programmes and promotions customized for the Chinese traveller.

The travel industry is an important growth opportunity as China’s travellers are expected to take an estimated 700 million trips over next five years. Marriott’s owners and franchisees globally will benefit by capturing a greater share of this growing Chinese travel market and lower distribution costs associated with the joint venture.

The highlight of the joint venture will be providing a newly-integrated functionality to make the entire travel experience frictionless from planning, booking, paying and managing a trip to all activities associated at the destination like shopping, dining and sightseeing. Technology will be leveraged to curate customized experiences for Chinese consumers. Marriott will offer access to private concerts, family-focused experiences, and court-side seats at sporting and other events through its Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Moments and Marriott Rewards Moments programmes. Alipay will be accepted at Marriott hotels in select global markets with further expansion expected around the world.

Further still, Alibaba members will be able to enroll in one of Marriott’s loyalty programmes – Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards or SPG.