September 19, 2018, Richmond, British Columbia – Tourism Richmond has signed an agreement with Richmond stakeholders through Alipay’s digital mobile payment and marketing platform.

More than just an online payment solution, merchants can showcase their business on Alipay’s geolocated-based “Discover” function and push notifications within the app. Merchants can market to Chinese consumers before, during and after their visits to Canada, boosting their brand among the rapidly expanding group of Chinese overseas visitors. This service also allows consumers to locate nearby stores, receive promotional information and make informed purchasing decisions. A “lifestyle super app,” Alipay currently boasts over 700 million active users in China, with over 70 percent of users paying for goods and services through the app.

“We see this partnership as an opportunity to help our stakeholders and merchants to become China-ready,” commented Nancy Small, chief executive officer of Tourism Richmond. “We’re seeing visitation from China grow year over year. Offering this payment option is a first step to welcoming Chinese customers, whether they’re here as a tourist visiting Metro Vancouver, international student or new immigrant.”

The data is there: in 2017 alone, an estimated 1 million Chinese visitors spent time in Richmond for either a day trip, or an overnight trip and their top spending categories included shopping and restaurants. The first week of October, also known as Golden Week, will see approximately 300,000 Chinese tourists visiting metro Vancouver for a holiday.

“Metro Vancouver is a key destination during Golden Week for Chinese consumers who seek out authentic and local experiences,” said Rita Liu, head of Canada at Alipay. “Alipay gives travellers peace of mind while they are abroad with a secure and convenient payment option they are already accustomed to at home. We partnered with Tourism Richmond for the greatest reach to retail partners in the Metro Vancouver area, and we are pleased to continue to offer travellers a seamless shopping and payment experience.

According to research conducted by China Travel Outbound, 90 per cent of Chinese visitors use mobile payment systems such as Alipay when travelling overseas and 91 per cent of Chinese tourists indicated that the widespread availability of mobile payments abroad would encourage them to spend more.

2018 is also the Canada-China Year of Tourism, and there has been a surging interest among Chinese tourists to visit Canada. According to Destination Canada, this year, for the first time ever, China has emerged as Canada’s largest source of long-haul travelers with over 131,000 between January to March, up 25 per cent over the same period last year. 

For more information about the partnership, or to schedule an interview with Nancy Small, chief executive officer of Tourism Richmond, please contact Lesley Chang at lchang@tourismrichmond.com.

For more information about Alipay, or to schedule an interview with Rita Liu, Head of Canada at Alipay, please contact Chenni Xu at chenni.xu@antfin.com.  

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About Tourism Richmond

Tourism Richmond is a non-profit destination marketing organization (DMO). The primary mandate of Tourism Richmond is to enhance awareness about the destination through sales and marketing initiatives and by providing excellent visitor and member services. Ultimately, the organization’s goal is to increase economic activity related to tourism for the City of Richmond and all stakeholders. In 2010, Tourism Richmond earned B.C.’s DMO Professional Excellence Award and shared another two awards with the City of Richmond, the Sport Tourism Community Legacy Award at the annual BC Tourism Industry Awards, and the Community Excellence Award from the Union of BC Municipalities. Tourism Richmond is British Columbia’s 4th largest DMO.

About Alipay

Operated by Ant Financial Services Group, Alipay is the world’s largest mobile and online payment platform. Launched in 2004, Alipay currently has over 700 million active Chinese users and over 200 financial institution partners in China. Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle enabler. Users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make appointments with doctors, or purchase wealth management products directly from within the app. In addition to online payments, Alipay is expanding to in-store offline payments both inside and outside of China. Over 40 million brick-and-mortar merchants now accept Alipay across China. Alipay’s in-store payment service covers more than 35 countries and regions across the world, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 24 countries and regions. Alipay works with over 250 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese travelling overseas and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites. Alipay currently supports 27 currencies. Follow us on Twitter @antfinancial and @alipay.

Media Contacts

Lesley Chang
Manager, Communications for Tourism Richmond
Tel: 604-821-5482
Cell: 778-823-5482
Email: lchang@tourismrichmond.com

Sophia Cote
FleishmanHillard HighRoad on behalf of AliPay
Tel: 604-630-0391
Cell: 778-903-7464
Email: Sophia.cote@fhhighroad.com