HANGZHOU, China and BETHESDA, Md., Nov. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) and Alitrip (www.alitrip.com) have joined forces in a move that will make it easier than ever for travelers to book hotel rooms online and on their mobile phones. The room inventory of Marriott International hotels portfolio will be made available to Alitrip users through a directly operated on-line flagship store - a first for a major global hotel chain.
"We are delighted to be the first global hotel company to sign such a significant agreement with Alitrip," said Craig S. Smith, president and managing director of Marriott International, Asia Pacific. "With 19 Marriott International brands, including JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton and Marriott Hotels, and over 4,000 hotels available through Alitrip, Chinese travelers will see a major increase in the number of rooms they can book through Alitrip."
"The agreement illustrates Marriott International's continued efforts toward the creation of a complete and effortless online- and mobile-powered travel experience for our guests. We aim to be the favorite global brand for China's hundreds of millions of Internet users, who may be looking to travel both inside and outside of China," Mr. Smith added.
The parties also plan to explore enhancing the user experience through the "Post Post Pay" service launched by Alitrip. "Post Post Pay" is an innovative program that allows qualified customers to reserve hotel rooms through Alitrip without paying a deposit and to enjoy express check-out service which further enhances the consumer experience and the operational efficiency of hotels.
Li Shaohua, President of Alitrip, said, "We are excited to partner with global hotel chains such as Marriott to broaden our hotel offerings to customers. Alitrip is the go-to platform for Chinese travelers looking for a full range of choices and customized travel experience, and this cooperation with Marriott will make travel planning easier than ever for our users."
The announcement comes just two months after another significant partnership agreement between Marriott International and Ant Financial Services Group, a related-party of Alibaba Group, reflecting a growing relationship between these major global brands. On September 7, Marriott International and Ant Financial announced an agreement to roll out Alipay to Marriott International's hotels and resorts.
In 2014, the number of China's outbound travelers topped the 100 million mark, according to the China National Tourism Administration1. And according to the China Tourism Research Institute, the first six months of 2015 saw China's outbound travel increase 12.1 percent compared with the same period last year. China now has the world's largest group of outbound tourists, with much of the growth driven by a rise in personal income, easing visa policies for China with various countries around the world. The number of Chinese outbound travelers is expected to grow to 200 million by 20202.
Alitrip provides Chinese travelers with its innovative travel solutions which has made travel planning more convenient than ever. Alitrip offers a selection of more than 250,000 hotel options and enables users to book hotels and hostels worldwide.
About Marriott International
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,300 properties in 85 countries and territories. Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $14 billion in fiscal year 2014. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 19 brands, including: The Ritz-Carlton®, BVlgari®, EDITION®, JW Marriott®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance® Hotels, Marriott Hotels®, Delta Hotels and Resorts®, Marriott Executive Apartments®, Marriott Vacation Club®, Gaylord Hotels®, AC Hotels by Marriott®, Courtyard®, Residence Inn®, SpringHill Suites®, Fairfield Inn & Suites®, TownePlace Suites®, Protea Hotels® and Moxy Hotels®. Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics. The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together surpass 53 million members. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.
Previously known as "Taobao Travel," Alitrip (www.alitrip.com) was established as an independent online travel booking platform in October 2014. It currently has a large number of quality merchants on its platform providing Chinese consumers with a range of products and services including domestic and international flight tickets, hotel bookings, vacation packages and visa applications. Alitrip is dedicated to creating value for consumers by offering wide product selections, customized products, comprehensive after-sales protection and an innovative user experience. Alitrip is a business within Alibaba Group.
1 China Outbound Tourism in 2014, http://www.travelchinaguide.com/tourism/2014statistics/outbound.htm
2 'Chinese Tourists – Exploring New Frontiers', CLSA January 2014, https://www.clsa.com/about-clsa/media-centre/2014-media-ƒreleases/outbound-chinese-tourists-to-double-by-2020-propelling-global-growth-in-travel-related-sectors.php
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SOURCE Marriott International, Inc.