Alipay (Hangzhou) Technology Co. is a familiar name for www.naroua.com and other sites that take online payment, thanks to its status as the world’s largest online payment platform. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has recognized the company’s reach, signing a letter of intent with the international company for a cooperation aimed at attracting visitors from China.
The one year cooperation started late in May, and is aimed at increasing the volume of high-quality tourism coming in from Mainland China into Thailand, according to TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn. He also noted that a considerable amount of the 10.5 million Chinese tourists who came into Thailand in 2018 used Alipay to pay for their transactions.
TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing in Asia and the South Pacific, Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, says that the cooperation will have the tourism authority helping support Chinese tourists who use Alipay gain better access services to department stores, theme parks, and other establishments in Thailand during their stay in the country.
In turn, Alipay will create promotions for Chinese travellers, particularly those that spend a lot of money, in the form of ‘Thank You Rewards’, which are aimed at attracting people to spend more in Thailand.
China-based Alipay is the world’s biggest online payment platform, run by Ant Financial Service Group, with approximately 900 million registered members, which is why it’s well-known to sites like www.naroua.com, and others.
China, meanwhile, is the biggest tourism market for Thailand, accounting for about a quarter of the country’s international arrivals. As for 2019, the volume of visitors from Mainland China is forecasted to hit 11.6 million, while total international arrivals is expected to reach 41 million.
From January to May 20 in 2019, about 4.4 million Chinese tourists travelled to Thailand, which is a drop of 5.2% from the same time period last year. The TAT is expecting that Chinese tourist arrivals will hit their projection of 11.6 million for 2019, which would amount to about 650 billion baht in tourism income.
Mr. Chattan says that there’s still room for Chinese tourist arrivals to Thailand to grow, given that there’s about 900 Alipay members, about 149 million of which can afford overseas travel.