This week, Accor announced a strategic collaboration with Alibaba Group, the world’s largest retail commerce business, through which the two will develop a series of digital applications and loyalty programs to improve consumer and traveler experience over the next five years.
Accor will leverage Alibaba’s nearly 700 million consumers across its China retail marketplaces to enable more Chinese travelers to take advantage of its offerings. Through Alibaba’s travel arm, Fliggy, consumers will be able 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 its “Haoke” program. “Haoke”—which means “Welcome”—is a certification program that ensures Accor’s hotels accommodate Chinese guests via language, dishes on menus, and other services and payment systems.
The collaboration between the two companies will be instrumental to the rollout 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 consumer base, leveraging its ecosystem, consumer insights, and digital marketing capabilities, accelerating the rollout 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,” Sebastien Bazin, Accor’s chairman and CEO, said. “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.”
“Over the past 20 years, Alibaba has formed two flywheels with one focused on consumers and the other on enterprises,” said Daniel Zhang, executive chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group. “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 digitize their business operations, from sales to marketing, brand building to member management and service innovations.”
The collaboration between Alibaba and Accor follows Accor’s flagship store on Fliggy, which was established in 2016. In August, Caesars Entertainment announced its own virtual flagship store for Caesars’ Las Vegas resorts on Fliggy. In 2017, Marriott International announced a joint venture with Alibaba to manage Marriott’s storefront on Fliggy and market the hospitality company’s global portfolio across Alibaba’s platforms.