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Alipay data reveals surge in China’s 2024 Labor Day tourism

The salesperson welcomes Chinese travelers to use Alipay for payment at Designer Outlet Roermond in the Netherlands

Alipay’s insights highlight a remarkable rise in both outbound and inbound tourism spending during China’s 2024 Labor Day, showcasing shifting travel trends.

HANGZHOU, CHINA – Alipay‘s data indicates a significant uptick in both outbound and inbound tourism spending in China during the 2024 Labor Day holiday.

Outbound Tourism

Transactions by Alipay users in overseas markets during the initial two days of the holiday saw a substantial 77% increase from the corresponding period in 2023, with total spending rising by 10% year-on-year.

For the 2024 Labor Day holiday, Alipay, an Alipay+ partner wallet, has joined hands with global merchants to launch extensive campaigns aimed at enticing Chinese tourists. Enabled by Alipay+, a suite of cross-border digital payment and digitalization technology solutions connecting global brands with mobile-savvy consumers worldwide, Chinese travelers can seamlessly pay for a wide array of services including shopping, dining, and entertainment at more than 8 million merchants across over 70 countries and regions. This convenience is all accessible through the familiar interface of their trusted Alipay app, eliminating the need to carry cash and the hassle of currency exchange.

Short-haul destinations across Asia continued to attract huge interest. Southeast Asia saw a 52% increase in spending by Alipay users year on year. Notably, Thailand emerged as the top destination in the region in terms of Alipay spending, while Malaysia showed the most impressive 171% year-on-year increase. In addition to these popular short-haul trips, Chinese travelers are increasingly using the extended five-day holiday to venture further afield. Long-haul destinations have gained traction, with North America, Europe, and Australia becoming the preferred choices for more exploratory and extended travels among Alipay users.

Specifically, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Macao SAR, Korea, the United States, and Thailand stand out as top destinations for Chinese travelers, drawing the most Alipay users. In April, Alipay+ facilitated users of 14 leading overseas mobile wallets and bank apps from 9 countries and regions to make seamless payments in Hong Kong from their home apps, enhancing the travel experience and contributing to the region’s tourism surge. Japan has risen to prominence as an enticing and budget-friendly destination for Chinese tourists, largely attributable to the yen’s depreciation. This economic advantage has been reflected in a substantial surge in Alipay spending within the country, which saw an impressive year-on-year growth of 164%.

Traveling with a lighter carbon footprint has become a new fashion. Alipay has been adding more ways for its users to get around overseas, like ride-hailing and public transport. In Hong Kong, the number of transactions for public transport increased by 63% year-on-year.

Inbound Tourism

Over the Labor Day holiday, international travelers spent 700% more year-on-year using their international card-enabled Alipay accounts at merchants across the Chinese mainland. The number of visitors using Alipay for payment from the 15 countries benefiting from China’s visa-free policy updates since mid-2023 increased by over 4 times compared to last year.

In April, Huangshan Tourism Group partnered with Alipay to launch the “International Visitor Friendly Scenic Spot” ahead of the Labor Day holiday. The initiative helps global travelers visiting Huangshan enjoy convenient payment options, including card, mobile payment and cash, as well as claiming tailored digital red packets for shopping discounts and check travel guide and tips in 16 languages.

In addition to using Alipay, overseas consumers can also pay with their home e-wallets across China, enabled by Alipay+. Since September 2023, the Alipay+ solutions have supported 12 leading e-wallets and payment apps in Asia to serve their roaming users across Alipay’s 80-million-strong merchant network in China, including AlipayHK (Hong Kong SAR, China), (Kazakhstan), MPay (Macao SAR, China), Touch ‘n Go eWallet (Malaysia), Hipay (Mongolia), NayaPay (Pakistan), Changi Pay (Singapore), OCBC Digital (Singapore), Kakao Pay (South Korea), Naver Pay (South Korea), Toss Pay (South Korea), TrueMoney (Thailand).

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George, in his capacity as an intern, diligently oversees the flow of news, assists in the publication of content, and delves into the strategies of social media distribution. He is currently pursuing his studies in Business Administration at the Athens University of Economics and Business.