Accor, a world-leading hospitality group, and Alibaba Group, the world’s largest retail commerce business, announced 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.
Left: Gary Rosen, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, Accor Greater China
Right: Angel Zhao, President of Fliggy and Senior Vice President of Alibaba Group
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 world-class 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, said, “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.”
Daniel Zhang, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group, said: “Over the past 20 years, Alibaba has formed two flywheels with one focused on consumers and the other on enterprises. 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.”
Gary Rosen, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, Accor Greater China, said: “I am immensely excited to share our collaboration with Alibaba with the international community. This is a milestone collaboration endorsed by two forward-looking nations, and extremely significant for Accor. Alibaba is the world’s leading e-commerce giant spearheading the global digital scene. Through our partnership, we will revolutionize the industry through our disruptive lifestyle loyalty program, ALL - Accor Live Limitless. ALL forms an integral part of Accor’s aggressive and visionary digital strategy leveraging the growing Chinese travel market. This collaboration with Alibaba will be a significant move for both companies as we work towards achieving common goals while offering an increased number of surprisingly dynamic options for Chinese world travelers. Our ultimate ambition is to add unforgettable value every day in our customers’ lives - no matter where they live, work or play.”
Angel Zhao, President of Fliggy and Senior Vice President of Alibaba Group, said: “We welcome this newly formed strategic collaboration with Accor as a further step towards the digitalization of the tourism industry. We look forward to enabling the hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers in Alibaba’s ecosystem to discover the world, and to enjoy stress-free and memorable travel with new digital experiences. By working with Accor, we will also be able to introduce a younger generation of consumers to the established Accor portfolio of hotels and lifestyle offerings.”
The collaboration between Alibaba and Accor follows the success of Accor’s flagship store on Fliggy, which was established in 2016. For several consecutive years, Accor amassed outstanding rankings and revenue among international hotel groups during Alibaba’s landmark 11.11 Global Shopping Festival. The announcement of a strategic collaboration between the two companies represents a new page in their relationship, which will most importantly benefit Chinese travelers.