SHANGHAI, Aug. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. ("Alibaba") (NYSE: BABA) and Marriott International, Inc. ("Marriott International") (NASDAQ: MAR) today announced the establishment of a joint venture to redefine the travel experience for the hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers traveling abroad and domestically every year.The joint venture will leverage Marriott International's global portfolio of brands and unparalleled hospitality expertise to revolutionize the travel experience as well as Alibaba's digital retail leadership and its role as a gateway for international brands to reach over 500 million mobile monthly active users across its platforms. Drawing on resources from both Marriott and Alibaba, the joint venture will manage Marriott's storefront on Fliggy, Alibaba's travel service platform. It will also market directly to Alibaba's customer base, provide a link between Marriott's loyalty programs and Alibaba's loyalty program, and support Marriott hotels globally with content, programs and promotions customized for the Chinese traveler. As incomes rise, China's middle class is looking for higher quality products and travel experiences. This new venture is designed to satisify consumers' expectations for seamless, integrated, personalized, and convenient travel solutions that connect travelers directly to Marriott's portfolio of international hotel brands. The travel industry is an important growth opportunity as China's travelers are expected to take an estimated 700 million trips over the next five years. Marriott's owners and franchisees globally will benefit from the joint venture by capturing a greater share of this growing Chinese travel market and lower distribution costs associated with the joint venture.