ABOVE: Guests in order from left to right: Duan Qiang, Party Secretary and Chairman of Beijing Tourism Group;Daniel Zhang, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group;Brian Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Corporation
Alibaba Group and Universal Beijing Resort have announced a strategic partnership to pioneer a next-generation theme-park experience through applications of innovative technologies and digitization of the entire resort operation.
The collaboration between Alibaba, a world-leading technology company, and Universal Beijing, a widely anticipated theme park destination scheduled to open in 2021, will capitalize on the strengths of both organizations to create a seamless experience throughout every stage of the guests’ journey with smart technology. The resort is expected to set a new benchmark for the entertainment and theme park industry globally.
“We put significant thought into the experiences we create for our guests,” said Mr. Brian Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Corporation. “That experience is about more than our great rides and attractions. It’s about making it fun and easy for our guests to enjoy their time with family and friends. Our partnership with Alibaba will help us do exactly that. Together, we can take the theme park experience to a new level.”
“Together with Universal Beijing Resort, we hope to offer a delightful experience that is unmatched anywhere to consumers in China and from around the world. This partnership will also bring to fruition a multi-dimensional data-enabled operations management solution for the industry and create a truly digitized theme park,” said Daniel Zhang, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group. “The future of commerce is driven by technology and big data, and digitization will be the source of brand-new growth opportunities for all businesses.”
Universal Beijing will leverage the Alibaba Business Operating System—a complete suite of services and digital tools by Alibaba—to digitize the operations and management of the theme park to ensure guests a one-of-a-kind experience and unprecedented convenience even before they leave their homes.
For example, through integration with Alibaba’s online travel platform Fliggy, visitors can buy tickets and book hotels through the Universal Beijing flagship store with a few simple swipes on their phones.
Universal Beijing guests have the option of using Alipay’s facial-recognition technology across the resort, from park entry to storage lockers to express-lane access to even payment for merchandise and meals.
Alibaba’s local service application, Koubei, will provide food and beverage recommendations based on guests’ preferences, and enable online meal purchases to minimize wait time.
Tmall, Alibaba’s premier online shopping platform, will be the resort’s e-commerce sponsor, and conduct co-marketing efforts with Universal Beijing Resort.
Through cooperation with Alibaba’s digital marketing platform Alimama and Alibaba’s online video hub Youku, guests can enjoy programming about the resort as well as access their favorite Universal movies in the Universal Brand Zone.
Alibaba and Universal Beijing are exploring the options of using Alipay mini apps to optimize guests’ overall experience. It will aim to improve trip planning, parking and other pain points usually faced by theme park visitors.
The resort will leverage Alibaba’s robust technology and consumer insights to offer guests with customized services and elevated park operations. Alibaba and Universal Beijing will create a truly consumer-centric ecosystem that will offer the ultimate guest experience that seamlessly brings together the best of online and offline. Alibaba Cloud will support the digitization and technology infrastructure of the theme park.
Universal Beijing and Alibaba’s partnership also extends to Ant Forest, where low-carbon lifestyles will be promoted and users can help contribute to planting real trees in Tongzhou through low-carbon actions that convert into “green energy”. Ticketless entry and digital payment provide guests with convenience, while reducing carbon footprint.
“Universal Beijing Resort is very honored to join hands with Alibaba, to be empowered with innovative technologies and digital ecosystems to realize ‘smart cultural tourism,’ as well as to set the mark for Universal Beijing as the pioneer of the theme park industry,” said Mr. Duan Qiang, Party Secretary and Chairman of Beijing Tourism Group. “We will make unremitting efforts to establish Universal Beijing as the new landmark of Beijing cultural tourism, while actively contributing to the implementation of the planning and construction of Beijing sub-center and help enhance the development of Beijing’s tourism.”