As travel expenditure of Chinese tourists pick up, so too have mobile payments, with a recent survey showing 65 per cent of Chinese tourists using mobile payment platforms on their overseas travels, six times the number of non-Chinese tourists.
According to the Outbound Chinese Tourism and Consumption Trends: 2017 Survey, jointly issued by Nielsen and Alipay, Chinese tourists’ use of mobile payment during overseas trips saw greater increase compared to other payment methods compared to the last two years.
On their most recent trip abroad, 99 per cent of Chinese tourists sampled have the Alipay App installed on their phones and 63 per used Alipay for their transactions, the survey showed. While shopping was the most common expense for which Alipay was used, Chinese tourists also utilised it to pay for sightseeing, accommodations, dining, transportation and recreation.
Over 90 per cent might purchase more goods or services at certain overseas merchants if they are able to accept mobile payment, the survey further revealed.
The study identifies the habit of using mobile payments in China, convenience of use, and additional discounts gained by using such platforms as key factors for Chinese travellers’ use of mobile payment overseas, while limited merchant coverage overseas is cited as the biggest obstacle.
The importance of mobile payment adoption in the travel industry is accentuated with the report stating that Chinese tourists exhibit stronger retail spending power than non-Chinese tourists. The former spent an average of US$762 per person on shopping alone based on their most recent trip. Non-Chinese tourists spent an average of US$486.
On average, Chinese tourists surveyed visited 2.1 countries or regions in 2016-2017 and are expected to visit an average of 2.8 in 2018.