TAT, Alipay+ team up to woo Chinese
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TAT, Alipay+ team up to woo Chinese

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has partnered with Alipay+, a cross-border mobile payment platform operated by Ant International, aiming to attract more tourists to Thailand during the low season.

There was a decrease in tourist arrivals last week from long-haul markets of roughly 20% week-on-week, while there was a 10% week-on-week drop in tourist arrivals from short-haul markets, according to the Economics Tourism and Sports Division of the Tourism and Sports Ministry.

Between Jan 1 and May 12, Thailand had welcomed 13.2 million foreign arrivals.

Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT's deputy governor for international marketing in Asia and South Pacific, said there could be a decrease in the number of tourists arriving from certain countries based on seasonal factors as well as the start of the school year in those nations.

Thailand attracts the highest number of daily foreign tourist arrivals from China (16,000), followed by Malaysia (8,000), India (5,000) and South Korea (4,000), Mr Chattan said.

"TAT is pushing forward for Thailand to become a year-round destination. We are working closely with the online travel agencies [OTAs] to promote the country's tourism during this low season," said Mr Chattan.

Mr Chattan said the TAT has partnered with Alipay+, a cross-border mobile payment platform operated by Ant International, which aims to attract more tourists to the country.

As part of the new developments, the TAT will launch the Alipay+ D-hub, a customisable in-app digital platform which will feature essential travel and cultural information, local merchants' recommendations, and city and provincial guides for Thai destinations.

The feature will be exclusively available to Chinese tourists via Alipay, and it will then gradually be made available to other Alipay+ payment partners.

Mr Edward Yue, general manager of Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand & Global Strategic Partnerships at Ant International, said data from Alipay+ showed a 70% increase in transactions in Thailand from January to April 2024, compared to the preceding four months (September to December 2023), with the highest spending coming from Alipay (China), Touch 'n Go eWallet (Malaysia), AlipayHK (Hong Kong, China) and Kakao Pay (South Korea).

During the 2024 Labour Day holiday, Thailand remained the leading destination in Southeast Asia for Chinese tourists.

Transactions made via Alipay increased by 161% compared to 2023, surpassing the level recorded in 2019, Alipay noted.

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