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Alibaba’s Fliggy goes global in electronic travel payments
Monday, 11th March 2019
Source : Michael Scaturro - Exclusive at ITB Berlin

Alibaba’s Fliggy platform is deepening its partnerships with hotels and airlines around the world, which are using the Chinese online marketplace’s points and eWallet portal to mine data pools to greater effect, an Alibaba executive said at the ITB in Berlin.

“Fliggy aims to allow a seamless mobile experience,” said Angel Zhao, president of Fliggy. “It integrates fully with the Alibaba ecosystem.”

Zhao described how Marriott Hotels has used Fliggy to create a data link between Alibaba’s online sales platform and Marriott’s customer data pools, such a loyalty program data, data from flagship stores, and digital marketing data. Singapore Airlines and Fly Zoo Hotel have also signed onto the program, Zhao said.

Similar eWallet partnerships with companies in India, Korea, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh would allow Alibaba to service 200m users using mobile payments, Zhao added.

AliPay – the payments division of Alibaba which markets Fliggy – is particularly popular and ubiquitous in Bangladesh, Zhao said. “This will open opportunities for SMEs and hopefully help them grow their businesses.”

Fliggy could make it easier for Chinese tourists to use the AliPay ecosystem abroad, Zhao added, echoing a theme heard in several presentations throughout the ITB.

Chinese tourism experts have been making their case to hotels and tour operators from the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere that Chinese customers prefer to conduct all of their transactions abroad via the same apps they use at home.

“Gen Z wants travel to be local, they want a story – the story behind the hotel or the location needs to be unique,” she said. “Further to that, safety will remain important. Chinese people want to be able to use AliPay when traveling abroad so they won’t need to carry cash with them.”

Zhao was previously a Senior Director of Finance at Yahoo! China.

This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted. Michael Scaturro is reporting exclusively for 4Hoteliers.com at ITB Berlin 2019 - www.4Hoteliers.com/itb.

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