The joint venture of Alibaba Group and Marriott International has announced the hotel chain’s facial recognition check-in pilot with Fliggy, Alibaba’s travel service platform.
This pilot will kick off this month at Marriott’s two hotels in China. Guests at these hotels need to scan their IDs, take a photo and input contact details on a self-help machine, following which the intelligent device will dispense room key cards after identities and booking information are verified.
The facial check-ins will start at Hangzhou Marriott Hotel Qianjiang and Sanya Marriott Hotel Dadonghai Bayon in Hainan.
Marriott International Greater China chief operations officer and managing director and board member of the joint venture Henry Lee said: “We are excited to partner with the joint venture yet again to offer an innovative and convenient check-in alternative for Chinese travelers. Marriott International has a track record of embracing cutting-edge technology to create memorable experiences for guests.
“With technology, our hotel associates can work more efficiently to do what they do best – delivering personalized service to our guests.”
According to the Marriot, this initiative is a part of the company’s move to place Marriott International as a global hospitality company and provide this seamless check-in experience for travelers.
Generally, it takes up to minimum three minutes for the traditional hotel check-in process, which is even more during peak times with guests spending time on queues.
Marriott claimed that facial-recognition check-in enhances operational efficiencies, and over 60% of Chinese travelers show their preference for facial recognition technology.
With the establishment of the joint venture in August 2017, Marriott International has benefited from the joint venture’s digital travel solutions and consultancy services, including digital platform consulting and management, customised marketing, business intelligence; and service innovation.
The Marriott storefront on Fliggy (marriottcn.fliggy.com) is now managed by the joint venture due to its digital platform consulting and management expertise. Further it is also serving as a Chinese booking gateway providing multi-faceted offerings in one platform.
Guests can now have access to around 6,000 hotels from across Marriott International’s global inventory of 30 brands and choose Li Yu certified hotels.