The Ascott Limited has become the newest partner of Alitrip – Alibaba Group’s stand-alone web-based travel site – which will see it join the likes of Marriott International (see here) in placing its entire global property portfolio on the Chinese online travel service platform.
According to Ascott, the partnership will allow it to enjoy greater access to the impressive reservoir of over 100 million Chinese travellers that Alitrip currently serves.
As a global serviced residence provider, Ascott currently has 24 of its Chinese properties listed for booking on Alitrip. This will be expanded to its entire global network by June 2016.
The partnership with Alitrip is a logical move for Ascott, given that it is already the largest international serviced residence provider in China, with more than 14,000 apartment units across 24 Chinese cities.
It also highlights the trend for serviced residence providers to collaborate with online and technology companies. Ascott previously invested in Tujia.com in August last year to harness growth opportunities in the online-to-offline space.
“Chinese are amongst Ascott’s top customers at our properties globally, with revenue surging by 36 per cent year-on-year,” said Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s chief executive.
“As Chinese travellers become increasingly tech-savvy and independent, they prefer to customise their travel itineraries; with more than 70 per cent of outbound travellers in 2014 booking trips on their own rather than joining tour groups, we foresee further growth in independent travellers.”
For more information, visit the-ascott.com