Singapore Tourism Board signs MOU with Alipay to enhance Chinese tourists' experience here

A cashier scanning a bar code on a customer's phone as she opts to pay for her goods through the Alipay application.
A cashier scanning a bar code on a customer's phone as she opts to pay for her goods through the Alipay application. PHOTO: WU MENG XUE

SINGAPORE - A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between Alipay and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to enhance Chinese tourists' overall experience here, the two sides announced in a press release on Monday (Sept 25).

It will see the world's largest online and mobile payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group and STB share relevant and current content about Singapore, on both Alipay's platforms and STB's Tourism Information and Services Hub.

This would give local tourism businesses more exposure, and provide Chinese tourists better access to information before and during their trips.

Tourism industry stakeholders in Singapore will also get data and analytics on Chinese travel trends here, with Alipay and STB helping them to understand and target Chinese consumers with more relevant products and experiences.

Both parties will also explore initiatives to increase the tourist expenditure through Alipay platforms.

"Partnering with the Singapore Tourism Board will help us present the best of Singapore to our users. Alipay is dedicated to bringing Chinese visitors and local merchants reliable, convenient and efficient ways of travelling and doing business," said Mr Tony Tai, Alipay's global head of marketing and operations.

"With our joint effort on content, data analytics and marketing, we will understand Chinese customers and local merchants better, making visits more enjoyable and businesses more efficient."

STB's chief technology officer Quek Choon Yang said: "This collaboration forms part of our overall strategy to better engage our visitors through digital channels. With a like-minded partner such as Alipay, we will be able to better understand our Chinese visitors' needs.

"This will in turn increase overall visitor satisfaction, increase tourism receipts and drive repeat visits."

Alipay, in which payment can be made by just scanning a QR code, first appeared in Singapore in 2015.

Today, it is accepted by over 2,000 Singapore merchants here, including department stores under Metro and Robinsons, and several hawker centers, along with over 80 per cent of taxis.

Last year, China contributed the largest share of tourism receipts and second largest share of visitor arrivals here.

Chinese visitor arrivals continue to grow this year, with about 1.9 million recorded from January to July, a year-on-year increase of 7 per cent. Those travelling to Singapore as a single destination grew 15 per cent.