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Nielsen: Over 90% of Chinese tourists consider using mobile payment while travelling overseas

Author: Theodore Koumelis / Date: Thu, 03/01/2018 - 15:44

According to the survey, a growing number of Chinese tourists expect that they will utilize mobile payment methods while travelling overseas, bringing their cashless lifestyle overseas.

Nielsen and Alipay jointly issued Outbound Chinese Tourism and Consumption Trends: 2017 Survey, providing in-depth analysis into the current consumption and payment behavior of Chinese tourists overseas, as well as assessing future trends. Unlike previous studies on outbound Chinese tourists and their spending habits, this report focuses on examining the usage of mobile payment platforms by Chinese tourists during their overseas travels.

According to the survey, a growing number of Chinese tourists expect that they will utilize mobile payment methods while travelling overseas, bringing their cashless lifestyle overseas. The survey also includes a case study on Alipay, a leading Chinese mobile payment and lifestyle platform, which highlights the influence of Chinese mobile payment platforms on Chinese tourists’ spending patterns overseas.

According to the report, Singapore was ranked the 7th most popular destination outside of Chinese mainland for Chinese tourists to visit. Statistics from the China National Tourism Administration show that Chinese tourists made 131 million overseas trips in 2017, an increase of 7% from 2016. Amongst these, Chinese tourists continue to increase spending during their trips. Data from the International Association of Tour Managers shows that overseas travel spending by Chinese tourists reached USD 261.1 billion in 2016, an increase of 4.5% year-on-year, and ranked first worldwide.

Some of the key findings include:

  • On average, Chinese tourists surveyed visited 2.1 countries or regions in 2016-2017 and are expected to visit an average of 2.8 in 2018. Chinese tourists exhibit stronger purchasing power than non-Chinese tourists, with the former spending an average of ~1010 SGD [USD 762] per person on shopping alone based on their most recent trip. Non-Chinese tourists spent an average of ~645 SGD [USD 486].
  • Mobile payment is gaining momentum among Chinese travelers overseas. 65% of Chinese tourists used mobile payment platforms during overseas travels, more than six times in comparison to non-Chinese tourists (11%). In contrast to the last two years, Chinese tourists’ use of mobile payment during overseas trips saw greater usage increase compared to other payment methods. Chinese tourists primarily use mobile payments for shopping, dining and visits to tourist attractions when traveling overseas.
  • According to survey results, over 90% of Chinese tourists would consider using mobile payments when traveling overseas if more overseas merchants accept it in the future. Over 90% might purchase more goods or services at certain overseas merchants if they are able to accept mobile payment. As a world leading mobile and online payment brand, Alipay is committed to better supporting the needs of Chinese tourists by providing a more efficient, convenient payment method via its platform.
  • The habit of using mobile payments in China, convenience of use, and additional discounts gained by using such platforms are key factors for Chinese travelers to use mobile payment overseas, while limited merchant coverage overseas is cited as the biggest obstacle.
  • Chinese tourists’ favored goods to purchase while shopping overseas is skin care and beauty products, followed by local specialties. In terms of shopping locations, 61% of Chinese tourists prefer to shop at Duty Free shops
  • On their most recent trip abroad, 99% of Chinese tourist sampled have the Alipay App installed on their phones and 63% used Alipay for their transactions. While shopping was the most common expense for which Alipay was used, Chinese tourists also utilized it to pay for sightseeing, accommodations, dining, transportation and recreation.

The report is available here and the infographic here.


Theodore Koumelis

Co-Founder & Managing Director

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.