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Visit California eases travel for Chinese tourists with Unionpay

Visit California, the state’s tourism board, joins forces with UnionPay International, the world’s largest cardholder base, to make travel easier for Chinese visitors and ensure California’s travel industry is prepared for their business. UnionPay International (UPI) is a subsidiary of China UnionPay, focusing on the growth and support of UnionPay’s global business. The Golden State is the top U.S. destination for Chinese visitors, welcoming more than 1 million travelers in 2014.

In a first of its kind partnership for UnionPay International, the bank and Visit California will conduct a series of “Global Ready China” seminars – cultural, sales and service trainings that highlight best practices for welcoming Chinese visitors. This targeted training in multiple statewide destinations will ensure that visitor expectations are exceeded and that California continues to be the premier destination location for Chinese travelers.

“UnionPay International is an incredible partner for Visit California,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California. “The Chinese spent $2.5 billion in California last year, and by working together we can help California businesses better connect with customers from this rapidly growing market. The more that UnionPay cards are accepted in our state, the fewer barriers for Chinese travelers to Dream Big while on vacation here.”

“UnionPay acceptance has become an important criterion for assessing the level of satisfaction of Chinese visitors with their overseas travel experience. UnionPay International is excited to work in cooperation with Visit California to help prepare the tourism industry for more Chinese visitors,” said Miriam Park, General Manager of UnionPay International America. “It is our goal to grow our presence with California merchants so that we can provide high quality, cost effective and secure cross-border payment services to our cardholders and ensure convenient local services to cardholders and merchants.”

The two-hour seminars, which kick off September 23, 2015 at Pier 39 in San Francisco, will give attendees an overview of Visit California’s marketing efforts in China and the importance of UnionPay to Chinese travelers as well as Chinese culture, travel preferences and how to handle travelers’ needs and expectations. Attendees come from all sectors of the travel industry, including hotels, attractions, retail establishments, restaurants, tour operators and more.

Attendance is free. Registration for the seminars is available at For more information on future dates and locations, visit

“Visit California is committed to delivering the ultimate visitor experiences and showcasing our abundance of first-class retail and luxury partners,” said Beteta. “UnionPay is the fastest-growing payments provider anchored firmly in China, and this strategic partnership will assure that California businesses are rolling out the red carpet for our Chinese visitors.”

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