Brand USA and the San Diego Tourism Authority leverage Alibaba’s ecosystem to increase tourism to San Diego.
San Diego, USA -- Alipay, the world's leading digital payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group (Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) affiliate), and Fliggy, Alibaba’s travel services platform, announced a collaboration with Brand USA and the San Diego Tourism Authority (“SDTA”) to promote San Diego as a leading travel destination for Chinese tourists. The collaboration encompasses a comprehensive digital marketing campaign with Alipay and Fliggy, as well as Alipay merchant integration to make it easy for tourists to use their payment method of choice. In 2018, China led all other countries with a $34.6 billion spend by tourists and ranked in the top 5 of international visitation with 3 million visitors to the USA.
Alipay and Fliggy are both major components of Alibaba Group’s broad digital ecosystem, covering payments and travel respectively. Operated by Ant Financial, Alipay is the world’s largest mobile and online payment platform, serving 1 billion users worldwide together with its global partners. Fliggy, Alibaba’s travel services platform, provides users with a wide range of products and services to enhance their travel experiences such as airline and hotel bookings, tour guide services, and vacation packages. Together, the two platforms cover the Chinese traveler’s journey from booking, to itinerary management, to local payments, to post-trip marketing promotions once travelers are back home.
Brand USA is the destination marketing organization for the United States, whose mission is to increase incremental international visitation, spend, and market share to fuel the nation’s economy and enhance the image of the USA worldwide. The organization is working together with the SDTA to promote travel to San Diego. As part of the campaign, Alipay and Fliggy launched landing pages on both apps, through which users can find relevant content, suggested points of interest, as well as access to tickets, tours, and make payments for some of San Diego’s most iconic attractions.
“The Chinese traveler is accustomed to using Alipay and Fliggy in their day-to-day lives, so we wanted to help make it as convenient and welcoming as possible for them as they visit San Diego,” said Christopher L. Thompson, Brand USA president and CEO.
“This collaboration with Brand USA and SDTA is the first of its kind for Alibaba in the US, and marks a major initiative to both grow Alipay merchants as well as increase Chinese tourism to the US through the Fliggy app,” said Yulei Wang, Alibaba Group vice president and head of North America. “We are excited to cohesively leverage two major business units from within our ecosystem to provide comprehensive solutions to our travel partners, and to bring more Chinese tourists to great cities across the world.”
San Diego has introduced tools to help local merchants become ‘Alipay-ready’ and is providing training on welcoming and accommodating Chinese tourists. Alipay created a bespoke City Discovery Page for San Diego that includes an interactive map of San Diego, top attractions and travel tips in Chinese, as well as details on merchants who accept Alipay. New Alipay merchants include SeaWorld San Diego, the San Diego Air & Space Museum, USS Midway, San Diego Museum of Man, Hornblower Cruises, and Old Town Trolley & SEAL Tours. Alipay has worked with each merchant to create coupons to help drive additional business and promote Alipay merchants to Chinese visitors in San Diego.
Fliggy’s designated Fliggy City page for San Diego features itinerary recommendations and directly bookable tickets, travel tips, key attractions, products, value coupons, and more.