No half measures

As we have come to expect from Accor, when the company decides to do something, it doesn’t deal in half measures.

Its decision to partner with online retail giant Alibaba gives it enormous clout in the Chinese market as well as exposure to a huge number of potential new customers.

Alibaba recorded turnover of US $156 billion in 2019 – and its scale is mind-blowing – its online sales and profits have surpassed all US retailers (including Walmart, Amazon, and eBay) combined every year since 2015. Alibaba has around 700 million consumers – its travel arm called Fliggy will facilitate consumers booking hotels, catering services, and entertainment offerings through Accor. Customers will be able to use Alipay, a digital payment service operated by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial.

Accor, which has around 4,900 hotels and residences in 110 countries, also said it would spend $255 million on a new loyalty program called ALL – Accor Live Limitless. Alibaba is assisting Accor with the rollout of the new program by offering digital marketing and other capabilities.

“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 ALL – Accor Live Limitless,” said Accor CEO Sébastien Bazin, who looks like he has made an extremely shrewd strategic move.

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