InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has launched a new e-store on one of China’s most popular online travel booking platforms, Taobao Travel.
The move, which is the first by an international hotel company, will enable Chinese consumers to book IHG properties via the trip.taobao.com website. The e-store webpage on Taobao Travel will redirect to IHG’s new China booking website, cn.ihg.com, where consumers will be able to confirm their booking and make payment through Chinese online payment service, Alipay.
“IHG has always been an innovator in online service booking and committed to meeting Chinese consumers’ booking preferences,” said Nick Barton, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for IHG Greater China. “We believe the launch of our flagship e-store on Taobao Travel will drive IHG’s leading position in online service booking to a new level. Most importantly, we believe Chinese consumers will greatly benefit from the initiative. With our existing online tourism service cooperation and direct booking channels, our holistic booking approach provides Chinese consumers with the best booking services.”
The move marks the latest phase in IHG’s push into the Chinese market. While several international hotel companies have devised schemes to appeal to Chinese guests, IHG is the only one to have created an entirely new brand specifically for the domestic Chinese market. It recently announced the signing of its first eight Hualuxe Hotels & Resorts properties in destinations including Beijing and Shanghai.
This latest collaboration looks to further tap the growing Chinese online market, while IHG also said it hopes the presence will “significantly raise the popularity of IHG’s official booking website and garner deeper loyalty among guests”.
“We are pleased to collaborate with IHG and are excited to provide our consumers with an even greater selection of quality hotel booking options,” said Yang Guang, head of the Taobao Travel platform. “Taobao Travel hopes to continue to act as a primary destination for the Taobao platforms’ nearly 500 million registered users to fulfill all their travel booking needs.”
IHG also announced its intention to add more functionality to Taobao Travel, such as individual hotel promotions.