Reaching Out to Chinese Tourists and Business Travelers.

by Sarah Grotta 0


Forbes posted an article that encourages retailers that are looking to attract the millions of Chinese tourists and business travelers that arrive in the U.S. each year to not only consider promotional aspects of attracting this consumer base but also not to forget to include integration with a preferred payment application.  Those businesses that can accommodate a familiar payment type that is better understood will acquire more activity:

China accounted for $261.1 billion in 2016 travel spend, leading all countries with a 21.4% market share — marketers are reaching deep into their toolkits to gain a competitive advantage with Chinese tourists. 

The author of the article who is himself a CEO if a digital agency comments:

As an American traveler, imagine planning a trip to another country and not being able to pay for your hotel with a credit card. Forced into a method you’re not comfortable with, chances are you’d feel highly inconvenienced, reconsidering your decision and maybe even exploring other options. If you’re anything like me, you wouldn’t hesitate to jump ship to a hotel that does accept credit cards.

This is how Chinese travelers might feel when American brands don’t accept mobile payments, be it China’s two mobile payment behemoths, Alipay or WeChat Pay, or emerging players like China Union Pay and Baidu Wallet. Based on a recent study by Nielsen and Alipay, when traveling internationally, 83% of Chinese tourists would ask whether or not companies support mobile payment, and 93% would consider paying through mobile more frequently if more international businesses accepted this form of payment. 

This is one of those times when being first to market with this capability and creating loyalty among this growing segment of travelers makes sense, in part because these apps are far more than just payment apps.  AliPay and WeChat Pay include communications, social networking, photo sharing and a host of other capabilities that can have the effect of broadcasting locations that accept the preferred payment app experience.

Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit and Alternative Products Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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