Thailand Partners With Alipay to Boost Chinese Expats’ Spending

A file photo of a payment made via Alipay.
A file photo of a payment made via Alipay.

BANGKOK — The Tourism Authority of Thailand on Thursday said it signed a partnership with China’s mobile payment platform Alipay in an effort to support domestic tourism amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As the country’s trillion-baht tourism sector continues to suffer from border lockdowns, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the joint campaign with Alipay would stimulate spendings from Chinese expats who are working or studying in Thailand.

The campaign is part of a larger effort to assist foreign nationals residing in the country during the pandemic, he said.

“We’re not only targeting Chinese expats,” Yuthasak said in an interview. “We’re targeting every group of expats following the tourism minister’s policy to encourage domestic tourism by foreigners. Alipay is a platform used regularly by Chinese at home and abroad, so I think it’s a good idea to facilitate their transactions at attractions.”

Under the campaign, Alipay users are offered exclusive deals from participating hotels when booking a domestic trip via Fliggy, Alibaba Group’s travel platform. A digital cash coupon valued at 368 yuan will also be rewarded to them for each booking made on the application.

For other groups of expatriates, Yuthasak said there are other campaigns awaiting them, including the “EmExpat Expo” that will be held at EmQuartier mall from Sept. 11 to 13.

“There will be deals from accommodation, wellness, airlines, and golf courses offered at the event,” Yuthasak said.

The governor added that tourism officials are currently working on plans to eradicate “double pricing” schemes at attractions for expatriates.

One of the ideas suggested is an identification card for them to snag local pricing while travelling, he said.

Many businesses in Thailand have already accepted Alipay as a form of payment, including the ubiquitous 7-Eleven stores and Central Department Stores.