ChinaTravelNews, Jerry Tang - China's e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group further leveraged its ecosystem to facilitate and stimulate travel consumption in the country post coronavirus, joining forces with Chinese hospitality and airline companies.
Zhima Credit, Alibaba's credit scoring and loyalty program within the Alipay application, announced on July 27 that the company has launched Suixinzhu (meaning Accommodation At Will in Chinese), a credit-based accommodation booking service, in partnership with eight hotel chains and accommodation providers including Mehood Hotels, Narada Hotels, SSAW Boutique Hotel, Huatian Hotel, Greenland Hotel, Seclusive Life, Muniao and Xiaozhu.
According to the partnership, users with 600 credit points or more can search for the Suixinzhu offerings in Alipay and secure guest rooms with no prepayment. The users can enjoy special deals with 30%-50% off and they only make payment when they are ready to make reservations for stays.
An earlier pilot program at Mehood Hotels reported a 40% rise in the number of reservations, according to a local media report.
The accommodation industry in China has experienced severe impacts by the COVID-19 pandemic since earlier this year. Some 1,230 hotel and accommodation providers in Beijing registered total revenue of RMB 4.2 billion (USD 600 million) in the first quarter this year, down by 55.6% year on year, and they collectively posted a net loss of RMB 3 billion (USD 430 million), according to data from local hotel analysis firm Huamei Consultancy.
Less than two weeks ago, Alibaba's online travel unit Fliggy launched the Fliggy Fly At Will product that offers consumers airline service nationwide including the Greater China area of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan in attractive deals.
For a domestic flight ticket with a full price of no more than RMB 500 (USD 72), a successful bidder for the Fliggy offering can make a reservation for just RMB 66 (USD 9.4).
Prior to the launch of Fliggy's flight deals, airline companies including China Eastern Airlines, China Express Airlines, Hainan Airlines and Spring Airlines have each launched similar flight passes as an advertisement in an unprecedented time of COVID-19 to restore consumer confidence.