Alibaba Group and Marriott International announced on August 7th the establishment of a joint venture to redefine the travel experience for the hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers traveling overseas and domestically every year. The partnership will connect Marriott and Alibaba's loyalty programs.
Marriott gets access to the rising number of Chinese travellers looking for experiences outside China via Alibaba's online online platforms.
The JV will also develop customised content and promotions for Chinese travellers. Marriott is due to release second-quarter earnings after the close of trading on Monday.
Shares of Alibaba ended up 3.6 per cent at US$158.84 (RM680.71) on Nasdaq.
"Alibaba working with Marriott is a natural outcome". The companies said Marriott would be marketed to 500 million mobile monthly active users across Alibaba platforms. Marriott tied up with Alibaba affiliate Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group in 2015, to let guests pay for hotel stays and related items with Alipay on phones. The global hotel chain may in turn help round out the offerings on Fliggy, which Alibaba is building into a viable competitor to longer-established Ctrip.com International Ltd. and up-and-coming Meituan travel. "Both of us believe we can generate huge synergies from this strategic partnership".
"We are proud to join forces with Marriott International - combining our large-scale consumer base, leading edge technology and consumer insights with their unparalleled hospitality expertise", said Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang in the statement.
The two companies see the worldwide travel market as a growing business in China as China's middle class expands, and more people seek "higher quality products and travel experiences".
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