Tuesday, April 23, 2024

We live in an age where trips are planned within a few minutes and the bookings are confirmed in split seconds! Nowadays, everything requires online presence as the consumers want to ensure transparency and credibility before zeroing down on something.

Statistics released by the World Economic Forum’s Digital Transformation Initiative (DTI) says that from 2016 to 2025, digitization in travel, tourism and aviation guarantees a promising future and is expected to create value worth US$305 billion. 

The big hospitality giants in the industry have realized the importance of digitizing their services in order to make booking and the stay in their accommodation more comfortable. 

Recently Accor, the French multinational hospitality firm joined hands with Alibaba, a Chinese multinational firm specializing in e-commerce, retail, internet and technology. This announcement was made during the China International Import Expo, 2019 held in Beijing. 

Established in 1967, Accor has over 4800 hotels around the world. This french hospitality conglomerate will make use Alibaba’s online travel booking portal, Fliggy, through which customers will be able to book hotels, book entertainment, avail catering services and lifestyle services. The payments will be supported by Alipay, an online payment platform built by Alibaba. 

In turn, Chinese travellers are guaranteed a comfortable stay at Accor under its Haoke programme which is specially designed for the Chinese population. The hotels will have Chinese speaking staff, Chinese dishes and payment platforms that are compatible and easy for Chinese travellers. Accor made a smart move by tapping into the Chinese market which has a lot of potential. Also, considering the fact that the Chinese population is not comfortable with the platforms that the rest of the English speaking nations are using, this initiative might bring in immense amount of profits.

Although this move was already made by another hospitality giant Mariott one and a half years ago when it came into a joint venture with Alibaba to fulfill the same objectives. 

Mariott also collaborated with Expedia recently, an American global travel technology company. This is an innovative move to completely alter the scenario of wholesale rates and dynamic pricing. Through this move the American hospitality company seeks to gain a better control on its wholesale rates by making Expedia the sole distributor of its bookings. This will help ensure transparency and eliminate all the third party wholesale distributors who at times book rooms at the wrong prices which in turn lead to customer disappointment. Although, the distributors who already have ties with Mariott will not get affected. This strategic partnership has already come into effect from October 15, 2019. 

Considering the massive competition between online travel agents, it becomes very difficult task for the hotels to try to get a handle on the prices. In such cases having a single trusted partner to ensure the integrity of rate redistribution will turn out to be exceptionally advantageous for the hotels. 

All these tie-ups tell how crucial it has become for the businesses to show their presence online and ensure customer comfort and contentment at all times. 


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