Alibaba announced the launch of a new travel brand “Alitrip” which replaces Taobao Travel, previously under the company’s Taobao Marketplace. The web address of Taobao Travel now automatically redirects to the new brand’s website at www.alitrip.com.
In the announcement, the company expressed the desire to build up Alitrip and transform it into a leading platform for China’s online travel sector.The new platform currently has over 10,000 merchants covering air tickets, hotel bookings, vacation packages, tour guides, and visa application services. Cathy Pacific and Agoda.com are amongst the merchants who have recently joined the platform.
The key differentiator of Alitrip from other market leaders is the access and deeply interwoven integration with Alibaba’s popular payment solution Alipay. Already, the company has announced plans to provide easier booking cancellations, no-questions-asked refunds within one hour, and allow post-pay hotel stays wherein the hotel charge is deducted automatically from the traveler’s Alipay account after checkout.
The launch of the new brand before the Singles Day Shopping Festival on 11 November was timely as Alibaba could offer many discounts during the festival to increase awareness of the new brand.