Alibaba Travel Company started operating five years ago by selling airplane tickets online in Iran. Today’s knowledge-based startup offers all travel services, including domestic, foreign, train and bus tickets, travel tours and hotel reservations both in Iran and abroad. But what sets Alibaba apart in tourism is its 24-hour customer support 7 days a week.
Alibaba, as a major player in Iran’s startup ecosystem in the tourism industry, has also entered the areas of health tourism, smart marketing and artificial intelligence. According to Alibaba’s founder, it has around 50% share of ticket sales in Iran. Majid Hosseininejad the founder of Alibaba explained more about what they do in Iran`s travel market.
What is the structure of Alibaba Holding?
Alibaba is now a holding enterprise with various brands including Alibaba, Jabama, Hellopersia (Inbound Tourism), Brandist (Marketing Agency), Nabro (Tourism Content Platform), Neshanet (Influence Marketing), Dabi (Persian Audio Assistant), Medgo (Medical Tourism), Altrabo (B2B Platform), Tousha (Holding Investment) are its subsets. As a result of the ambitious plans of the holding, in the last five years, about 700 specialists have been operating in all Alibaba group.
What share of travel online sales market do you have?
Every day, 5,000 domestic plane tickets, 2,000 foreign tickets, about 6,000 bus seats, 4,000 train seats, and 1,000 rooms are sold through Alibaba.
The hotel room transfer capacity has shifted from Jabama to Alibaba.
Jabama is now focused on the online model of selling homes, apartments and villas. Hellopersia also focuses on the incoming tour.
I think we have about 50% of the online market share in all these products.
Travel retailer activists these days are worried that large firms entering the realm of online travel service sales are tightening their business because of the numerous resources they have at abnormal rates or dumping. Does this also apply to Alibaba Holding?
In Alibaba Holding, it has never happened to offer service below the real price. Of course, we may discount some of our profits to the customer, but that doesn’t mean dumping.
Do you think it is necessary to formulate non-dumping regulations in the field of tourism services to create healthy competition?
Yes, it does. Groups that have a lot of funding create a monopoly. If such a law is passed, we will win. Because we have the largest market share. We have no worries because we don’t offer unrealistic prices.
What is your plan in the international markets to attract foreign tourists to Iran?
Our approach is a bit different from those other touring activists.
In the field of travel with Hellopersia and Jabama, we have created a platform for small businesses, especially in cities, to be able to offer their products and services to foreign tourists in a competitive environment.
Implementing such a platform has never been simpler and has a complex and challenging design. With our commitment to creating wealth through tourism, such an approach will enable us to create jobs in remote areas.
Medical tourism in Iran is a nascent business. What special approach does Alibaba take in health tourism by investing in Medgo?
Medgo will be a facilitator. We are looking for a digital hospitalization so that the patient can get their message directly to the physician. Currently, we are both on the Google search network and in the source markets and will be the focal point for hospitals and physicians. We have also begun activities to attract patients in emerging markets such as Afghanistan, Oman and Russia.
With a significant turnover going on in Alibaba, you are also expected to play a significant role in social responsibility.
Yes, we are fully aware of that. We have put social responsibility at the forefront of our vision. collaboration with the Simorgh Institute, which focuses on empowering children and patients is such activities.