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News: Accor signs key partnership with Alibaba to grow China presence

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Accor and Alibaba Group have announced a strategic collaboration to develop a series of digital applications and loyalty programs 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.

The strategic collaboration will leverage Alibaba’s nearly 700 million consumers across its China retail marketplaces to enable more Chinese travellers to enjoy Accor’s 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.

The collaboration between Accor and Alibaba will be instrumental to the roll-out of Accor’s soon-to-be-launched lifestyle loyalty program, Accor Live Limitless, or ‘All’.

Sebastien Bazin, Accor chief executive, 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 travellers access to exciting events and benefits through Accor Live Limitless.”

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.

Daniel Zhang, chief executive 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 digitise their business operations, from sales to marketing, brand building to member management and service innovations.”