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Toronto to attract Chinese travelers with Alipay during Golden Week

Toronto Street

Major Toronto attractions and retailers are set to take part in a digital Golden Week campaign via the Alipay app.

The campaign is part of a deepening relationship between Alipay, payment integrator OTT Pay Inc. and Toronto’s destination marketing organization, Tourism Toronto. The Golden Week campaign comes at a time when the region continues to welcome, understand and successfully engage with visitors from China, Toronto’s largest overseas visitor market. Major Toronto retailers and attractions are joining the campaign including the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, the Royal Ontario Museum, Yorkdale Shopping Centre and Square One Shopping Centre.

During Golden Week, a national Chinese holiday where citizens are increasingly travelling abroad, these participating Toronto retailers and attractions have added special offers for Alipay users which can be redeemed in store via the Alipay app. These retailers will also be highlighted on a special page within the app to drive awareness amongst Chinese tourists in Toronto. The month-long campaign runs from September 20 to October 20, extending the offer before and after Golden Week, which is celebrated in China and around the world from October 1 to 7.

The deepening of this strategic partnership reflects the expanding economic ties between Toronto and China. China has been Toronto’s largest overseas market since 2014 with 319,000 visitors coming to the Toronto region last year. With 2018 being declared as the Canada-China Year of Tourism, opportunity is ripe for Toronto businesses looking to cater to visitors from China who spent $304 million in Toronto in 2017, an increase of 147 per cent over five years.

“Our partnership with Tourism Toronto has been very successful, and we’re excited that the Royal Ontario Museum, Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Square One Shopping Centre, the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada are participating in our digital Golden Week campaign via the Alipay app,” said Rita Liu, Head of Alipay, Canada. “Through offering payment via Alipay, these destinations are providing Chinese visitors with a familiar shopping experience, unimpeded by language or payment barriers. Toronto businesses that cater to Chinese visitors are creating a commercial climate that is primed for growth.”

The point-of-purchase experience for those visiting from China is important. According to a recent Nielsen Report, jointly released by Nielsen and Alipay in March of this year, nearly all Chinese travellers (91 per cent) would be more willing to shop and spend at overseas merchants that accepted Chinese mobile payment platforms, with 93 per cent of Chinese tourists stating they would use mobile payment overseas if given the option.

“Toronto continues to expand its China-readiness with more and more businesses adopting Chinese mobile payment options like Alipay,” said Johanne Bélanger, President and CEO of Tourism Toronto. “As we near the end of the Canada-China Year of Tourism, now is the time for the tourism and hospitality industry to take China-readiness to the next level. That’s what we’re seeing in Toronto and will continue seeing in the years to come.”

“Local visitors and travellers from China can now use the Alipay mobile app for onsite ticket purchases at the Royal Ontario Museum. We hope to make it easier for the Chinese community, both at home and abroad, to engage with Canada’s largest museum of art, culture, and nature. We look forward to welcoming even more Chinese visitors with the limited-time Golden Week promotion,” said Kathryn Brownlie, AVP Marketing & Promotions, Royal Ontario Museum.

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