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TAT and Alipay+ enhance Thailand tourism with digital innovations

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TAT and Alipay+ expand partnership to boost tourism in Thailand through enhanced digital innovations and seamless mobile payments.

BANGKOK, THAILAND – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Alipay+, the cross-border mobile payment and digitalization technology solutions operated by Ant International, announced an expansion of their partnership with a series of new developments aimed at attracting more tourists to Thailand and enhancing their travel experience amidst strong travel demand.

Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Asia and the South Pacific, said “The partnership with Alipay+ plays an important role in attracting tourists and ensuring they enjoy their Thai experience; through such partnerships, TAT is on track to meet 2024 goals. We are glad to see Alipay+ transactions growing rapidly. With even more Alipay+ coverage acceptance, the transactions will only grow, especially in smaller cities, stimulating the economy, particularly for SMEs, across Thailand. We’re taking the next step to strengthen our partnership with the new digital innovations for Chinese tourists, the top market for Thailand, and continue to expand these innovations to more tourists in the future.”

Enhancing travel in Thailand through digital innovations

Thailand continues to be one of the top travel destinations for Chinese tourists. According to TAT, in the first four months of 2024, 2,351,909 tourists from the Chinese mainland traveled to Thailand. During the 2024 Labor Day holiday, data from Alipay, an Alipay+ partner e-wallet, showed that Thailand remains the top destination in Southeast Asia for Chinese tourists. Transactions made via Alipay increased by 161% compared to 2023, surpassing that of the pre-pandemic period in 2019.

To better cater to today’s mobile-savvy travelers, TAT will launch the Alipay+ D-hub and Amazing Thailand e-Card exclusively on Alipay for Chinese tourists and gradually make them available to other Alipay+ payment partners.

TAT is the first tourism board globally to launch Alipay+ D-hub, a customizable in-app digital platform that will feature essential travel and cultural information, local merchants’ recommendations, and city and province guides of Thai destinations.

Meanwhile, Amazing Thailand e-Card connects local businesses with tourists – helping them engage a new pool of customers, increasing the visibility and awareness of Thailand’s tourism offerings for visitors, and offering a channel for tourists to discover merchants and enjoy exclusive promotions.

At the beginning of 2024, Alipay+ also introduced the Alipay+ D-store in Thailand, an all-in-one store digitalization platform that allows locals and tourists to simply scan the store’s QR code and order, customize, and pay directly on their mobile devices. Currently, Alipay+ D-store merchants include local and international F&B merchants such as Dairy Queen, Burger King, The Coffee Club, D’Oro, and more.

TAT and Alipay+ strengthen their partnership with the launch of new digital travel innovations

Commenting on these new developments, Mr. Edward Yue, General Manager, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand & Global Strategic Partnerships, Ant International, said “The Tourism Authority of Thailand has been at the forefront of digitalizing the Thai tourism industry, enhancing the experience for tourists and local businesses. At Alipay+, we’re extremely excited to see the real benefits it brings to the community by supporting these efforts through mobile payments, marketing, and broader digitalization. Building on the success of our partnership, we continue to jointly introduce innovations to Thailand, ensuring that the mobile-savvy travellers of today can fully immerse themselves in uniquely Thai experiences, discovering, shopping, and eating with just their mobile phones. We look forward to continuing to support TAT’s goals for 2024 and positioning Thailand as a premier travel destination.”

Alipay+ promotes seamless payments across Thailand

From January – April 2024, Thailand has already welcomed a record number of 12,127,447 international arrivals. In addition, data from Alipay+ showed a 70% increase in transactions in Thailand from January – April 2024, compared to the preceding four months (September – December 2023), with the highest spending coming from Alipay (Chinese mainland), Touch ‘n Go eWallet (Malaysia), AlipayHK (Hong Kong SAR) and Kakao Pay (South Korea). Joint marketing efforts have successfully boosted tourist engagement, with a 52% increase in Alipay+ transactions during Songkran 2024, compared to the month before.

Alipay+ continues to expand its merchant coverage in Thailand to ensure that users of 14 leading international payment apps, which are Alipay+ partners, can pay seamlessly across the country. As of May 2024, Alipay+ is accepted by more than 400,000 merchants across Thailand, including in smaller regions such as Nakhon Phanom, Chanthaburi and Lampang, enabling tourists to travel more easily around the country and fully experience Thailand.

New merchants include those from F&B, wellness, and attractions such as CentralWorld’s FoodWorld which houses well-known street food, Let’s Relax Spa and the Grand Palace. Alipay+ has also recently been accepted by the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS), with transportation being a key tourist use scenario.

A Thailand+ Experience

Leveraging these new developments, TAT and Alipay+ introduced a new “A Thailand+ Experience” campaign. Tourists coming to Thailand can now explore more uniquely Thai experiences that await globetrotters to uncover, experience, and make memories with every visit. And it’s easier than ever to do so. In addition to seamless mobile payments via Alipay+ and the introduction of more digital travel innovations by TAT, select KOLs will also introduce their favourite merchants in secondary cities, with these selections made available on the TAT website and the Alipay+ D-hub. Voucher packs that can be used nationwide will further encourage tourists to explore these cities and merchants.

Introduced by Ant International in 2020, Alipay+ now connects over 88 million merchants in 57 countries and regions to 1.5 billion consumer accounts across over 25 e-wallets and bank apps. It allows consumers to travel and pay hassle-free globally and merchants to expand cross-border consumer engagement and digital marketing.

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

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