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Accor and Alibaba Group Enter into a Strategic Partnership, Retail News, ET Retail

Accor and Alibaba Group Enter into a Strategic Partnership NEW DELHI: Hotel chain Accor announced on Thursday that it has entered into a startegic partnership with Alibaba Group. Accor said through the ‘strategic collaboration’ the chain plans to develop a series of digital applications and loyalty programs to improve the consumer and traveler experience over the next five years.

The chain said the collaboration will leverage Alibaba’s 700 million consumers across its China retail marketplaces.

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.

Accor said 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 said it will also offer Chinese consumers a hassle-free hotel experience through its “Haoke” programme – geared towards Chinese travelers. Haoke, which means “Welcome” in Chinese, is a certification programme 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 chain said in a statement its collaboration between Accor and Alibaba will be instrumental to the roll-out of Accor’s soon-to-be-launched lifestyle loyalty programme, 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 and chief executive officer 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 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.”

Angel Zhao, president of Fliggy and senior vice president of Alibaba Group, said by working with Accor, the company will also be able to introduce a younger generation of consumers to the established Accor portfolio of hotels and lifestyle offerings.

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