The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) has inked a partnership with Chinese mobile and online payment platform Alipay, in a move that will support the expansion of its services into Australia’s tourism industry.

The partnership, announced in front of over 400 industry leaders at ATEC’s annual conference held in Perth last week, will seek to educate and up-skill Australian tourism businesses so they can capitalise on Alipay’s 520 million active Chinese users.

As part of the agreement, ATEC members will have access to Alipay workshops in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, where they will learn from China market experts, build industry relationships and hear from tourism operators already successfully tapping into the Chinese economy.

Training will be conducted at a number of workshops throughout the year and members will have access to unique promotions during major shopping festivals, such as Golden Week, a national holiday in China.

In recent years, Alipay has expanded to in-store offline payments both inside and outside of China. In Australia, the number of merchants using Alipay has grown from 1000 to 8000 in the space of a few months.

“Chinese visitors have become Australia’s largest tourist market and their spending potential is expected to be worth up to $13 billion by 2020 so our industry is very aware of the opportunities ahead,” ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley said.

“This partnership with Alipay will help educate our members and the industry more broadly on the brand, how it works, and why it is such an integral part of the Chinese consumer experience.”

Alipay Australia and New Zealand Country Manager, George Lawson, said this partnership will help the tourism industry market its offer to the 1.2 million Chinese visitors who travel to Australia every year.

“Australia has a world-class reputation and Chinese consumers want to buy our products and experiences. Alipay is a gateway between Australian merchants and Chinese shoppers, and tourism operators are first in line to reap the benefits.”

“From user reviews to location-based marketing and loyalty rewards, there are countless ways to connect with new Chinese customers and keep them engaged. We look forward to educating the tourism sector on Alipay’s features and how they can tap into a golden opportunity,” Lawson said.

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