Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson provided color on its partnership with Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba during its Q2 earnings report, saying the deal probably wouldn't have happened had Marriott not acquired Starwood.
Marriott last year worked on a targeted marketing program with Alibaba in which it signed 600,000 Marriott loyalty members in eight weeks. Bringing more guests into Marriott's loyalty system not only lowers customer-acquisition costs but also provides additional customer data, which Marriott can use to enhance its marketing.
Marriott has opened a dozen hotels in China this year, and it has more than 170,000 rooms across 500 hotels open or under development there. The market represents 8% of Marriott's rooms and 17% of its room pipeline.
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