Alipay+, the cross-border mobile payment and digitalization technology solutions operated by Ant International, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), have 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.

The duo said in a statement on Thursday that TAT is the first tourism board globally to launch Alipay+ D-hub, a customizable in-app mini program that will feature essential travel and cultural information, local merchants’ recommendations, and city and province guides of Thai destinations.

“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,” said Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Asia and the South Pacific.

“With even more Alipay+ coverage acceptance, the transactions will only grow, especially in smaller cities, stimulating the economy, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (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 future,” he said.

It is noted that 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 travelled 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 percent compared to 2023, surpassing that of the pre-pandemic period in 2019.

To better cater to today’s mobile-savvy travellers, TAT will also 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.

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.

“The Tourism Authority of Thailand has been at the forefront of digitalizing the Thai tourism industry, enhancing the experience for tourists and local businesses,

“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,” said Edward Yue, General Manager, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand & Global Strategic Partnerships, Ant International.

It is noted that from January to April of 2024, Thailand has already welcomed a record number of 12,127,447 international arrivals.

Meanwhile, data from Alipay+ showed a 70 percent increase in transactions in Thailand from January to April fo 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 percent increase in Alipay+ transactions during Songkran 2024, compared to the month before.

Alipay+ said it 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, to outside bigger cities, enabling tourists to travel more easily around the country and fully experience Thailand.

New merchants include those from food and beverage (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+ will also soon be accepted by the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS), with transportation being a key tourist use scenario.

Alipay+ is a suite of cross-border mobile payment and digitalization technology solutions that help connect global merchants to consumers.

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.

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