The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Alipay, the world’s largest online and mobile payment platform operated by the Alibaba Group’s Ant Financial Services Group (Ant Financial), to enhance Chinese tourists’ overall experience in Singapore.
As part of the MOU, Alipay and STB will cross-share relevant and up-to-date content about Singapore on both Alipay’s platforms and STB’s Tourism Information and Services Hub (TIH). This aims to increase exposure of Singapore’s offerings from various tourism businesses and provide Chinese tourists better information access before and during their trips to Singapore.
(The TIH is a B2B platform developed by STB which allows businesses to both contribute and access the most up-to-date information and travel services. Businesses can benefit from increased exposure of their product offerings and efficiencies in sharing and updating of tourism-related content, while STB can obtain rich data insights on the visitor journey.)
Alipay and STB will also share data and analytics on trends in Chinese travel to Singapore with tourism industry stakeholders in Singapore. This is expected to help the industry better understand and target Chinese consumers with more relevant products and experiences.
In addition, the two parties will explore co-investment in joint-marketing initiatives to market destination Singapore and Alipay merchants with the objective of increasing visit spend via Alipay platforms.
Alipay, which has been actively driving a “smart” lifestyle in Mainland China and overseas, first became a payment option in Singapore in 2015. Today, it is accepted by over 2,000 Singapore merchants, including Universal Studios Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore Zoo, department stores under Metro and Robinsons, and several hawker centres. Alipay is also accepted in over 80 per cent of taxis across the city. Payment through Alipay can be made simply by scanning a QR code, a method widely adopted by many residents in China.
China contributed the largest share of tourism receipts and second largest share of visitor arrivals to Singapore last year.
Chinese visitor arrivals to Singapore continue to grow this year, with about 1.9 million recorded from January to July 2017, a year-on-year increase of 7 per cent. In addition, year-to-date July 2017 visitor arrivals from STB’s targeted tier 2 cities grew 15 per cent year-on-year to 563,000 and Chinese visitors travelling to Singapore as a single destination grew 15 per cent.
Quek Choon Yang, Chief Technology Officer of Singapore Tourism Board, shared, "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. In line with our new destination brand “Passion Made Possible”, our Chinese visitors are also encouraged to share and deepen their passions in Singapore easily and conveniently through Alipay’s platforms. This will in turn increase overall visitor satisfaction, increase tourism receipts and drive repeat visits."
"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 traveling and doing business. 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,"said Tony Tai, Global Head of Marketing and Operations, Alipay.