ChinaTravelNews –Alitrip has introduced Credit Stay in the first stage of its “future hotels” strategy that aims to extend to the hotel industry the platform’s five key attributes offering credit, efficiency, marketing, traction and security.
Partnering with Zhima Credit for cash-less check in
Alitrip partners with Zhima Credit to launch the online “Credit Stay” service in the first stage of the “future hotels “project. Zhima Credit is China’s first personal credit rating service similar to FICO in the US.
Unlike a traditional hotel stay model, “Credit Stay” users who has at least 600 points of Zhima Credit rating can choose to stay first and pay later when booking hotel stays through Alitrip. Users don’t need to pay a deposit or queue for check out, as the hotel system will automatically deduct room fees from their Alipay accounts after they leave their room card key at the reception.
Almost 5,500 hotels have already implemented the “Credit Stay” scheme, among them are luxury hotel groups like Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Jinling Hotels, Kaiyuan Hotels and Radisson Hotels, and economy hotel chains like Home Inns, China Lodging Hotels, Pod Inn, Grace Inn and 100 Hotels. Starwood said it will test out the new model in Le Royal Meridien Hotel in Shanghai and will expand the program to all its hotels in the Greater China region in the future.
Providing online solutions for hotels
Although the traditional OTA model has brought hotels a large customer pool, it has also caused major headaches such as high commissions and low efficiency, miscommunication and long-standing unsettled accounts, as well as negative service experience due to the OTA practice of sacrificing profits to win market share.
The “future hotels” strategy aims to resolve these issues for the hotel industry by making a breakthrough in the deposit/payment model with the Credit Stay service. By leveraging the Zhima credit rating service, Alitrip also hopes to solve the problem of high no-show rates that has been troubling hotels the most. Typically hotel bookings through OTAs have a no-show rate of 40%-50%, and the adoption of Credit Pay will hopefully lower the rate to below 30%.
Alitrip operations director Xiaohua Li said: “We will explore different service models with ‘future hotels’ such as developing a system for free room selection and self-check in by customers. As well, the membership systems of OTA platforms can consolidate the hotel membership bonus points scattered on OTA platforms and allow them to be used as ‘money’. We will partner with hotels to form a new service model for future hotels based on hospitality, integrity and trust.”
Alibaba seeks to shake up the OTA industry
“Alitrip wants to leverage the potential power of the internet to change the traditional travel industry and help wean it off OTAs. After Credit Pay, Alitrip will also launch more services for “future hotels”, leveraging the large pool of 350 million active users of Taobao/Alibaba, Zhima Credit, Alipay, Huabei, AliCloud and Shiji Pay,” Mr Lee said. (Translation by David)