Hospitality group Accor, and retail commerce business Alibaba Group, announce a strategic partnership 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 at a special ceremony in Beijing during the 2019 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 travelers to enjoy Accor’s consumer offerings. It will allow for a seamless integration of Accor’s customer journeys within Alibaba’s comprehensive 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 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.
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, leveraging its ecosystem, consumer insights and digital marketing capabilities, accelerating the roll-out of ALL in China and around the world.
Sebastien Bazin, Accor’s Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, says, “We are excited to enter into this strategic global partnership with Alibaba, a leading global technology company in 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.”