Marriott International said on Monday it would partner with China’s Alibaba Group to tap into the growing number of Chinese citizens who travel abroad, Reuters reports. The world’s biggest hotel chain said the joint venture with Alibaba would allow Chinese travelers to book rooms at Marriott hotels via Alibaba’s travel service platform, Fliggy. Travelers will be able to sign up for Marriott’s rewards program and receive special member-only rates through Fliggy, Marriott’s global chief commercial officer, Stephanie Linnartz, said in an interview. Alibaba will eventually run Marriott’s websites and apps, Linnartz said. Tourists will be able to pay for bookings using the Chinese e-commerce company’s online payments platform, Alipay, the companies said. Over the next five years, Chinese travelers will take an estimated 700 million trips, the companies said in a statement. Marriott’s focus with the joint venture is mostly outbound Chinese travelers, Linnartz said.
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