Business / Companies

Marriott to offer Alipay at all its sites by 2016

By Shi Jing (China Daily) Updated: 2015-09-08 09:05

Marriott International Inc, the United States hotel brand, is to allow the use of Alipay, the online payments service owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, at its hotels and resorts.

Guests and clients will be able to use the system for reservations, in food and beverage outlets, and for conferences at Marriott hotels, via the Alipay smartphone application.

The payment method, operated by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, will first be introduced to 10 Marriott hotels in Shanghai and Beijing, Sanya, Hainan province and Hong Kong.

By the middle of 2016, the hotel group's sites in Asia will be connected to Alipay and the application will be introduced to all Marriott hotels by the end of next year.

Craig Smith, president and managing director of Marriott Asia Pacific, called the project revolutionary for hoteliers, tourists and conference organizers, as they will be able to complete payments via mobile devices.

He said the fact Alipay has an 80 percent share of China's mobile payment market was the biggest appeal for Marriott.

Peng Yijie, president of international business at Ant Financial, said: "We have chosen to work with Marriott because of its highly celebrated brand image as well as its grand expansion plans both in Asia and the world.

"This is what we are looking for in our strategy."

According to the latest Chinese International Travel Monitor 2015, released by hotel online reservation system, 59 percent of outbound Chinese tourists rated online payment methods such as Alipay as the second-most important hotel service when traveling abroad, second only to the availability of Wi-Fi services.

Alipay currently claims over 400 million registered users.

It is working with over 200 financial organizations dealing with more than 120 million transactions every day, 80 percent of which are completed on mobile devices.

CLSA, the Hong Kong-based independent brokerage and investment group, considers that Alipay has become the most reliable and most frequently used mobile payment method among Chinese tourists.

It expects that by 2020, there will be 200 million outbound Chinese mainland tourists, double the current number.

CLSA recently polled 1,000 Chinese travelers across 41 cities, and found 64 percent expect to travel overseas in the next 12 months, with 67 percent planning to spend more than the last time they traveled.

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