Local businesses enjoyed a bump in spending from Chinese visitors who came to Australia during the nation’s Golden Week holiday, October 1 to October 7, according to figures from Alipay.

Of all nations visited during the holiday, Australia’s Alipay transaction volume ranked 9th, up 105 per cent on 2017. This included a stand-out performance from merchants at Australian airports who were the third best performers in their category world-wide.

George Lawson, Alipay ANZ Country Manager, said the significant rise in Alipay activity over the period reflected Australia’s ongoing attractiveness as a tourist destination and a renewed focus by Australian merchants to cater to Chinese tastes and payment preferences.

“This year Australian businesses have embraced the true spending power of Chinese visitors and its pleasing to see them take simple steps to appeal to this audience, like offering Alipay at the point-of-sale, installing signage in Mandarin and providing discounts and specials during key travel dates,” he said.

Alipay has over 700 million active users in China and in Australia more than 10,000 merchants accept Alipay payments.

Lawson said Australian airports are leading the charge by using the Alipay platform to promote their brands well before a Chinese tourist even touches down and then sending them alerts as they make their way through the airport.

“The payments revolution in China resulted in people moving from cash to digital payments, largely missing the concept of ‘tap and go’ card payments. This has resulted in Chinese consumers being tech-savvy and open to using online information to find the best deal. The brands that most effectively engage with the Chinese community are marketing their goods and services before, during and after their visit to Australia to meet this trend.”

During the holiday, Alipay spend per user in Australia increased by 25 per cent compared to 2017, driven by strong outlay across the top performing categories of pharmaceuticals, fresh produce (fish markets) and supermarkets.

Australia’s Chinatowns are the most popular Chinese districts world-wide, with close to 40 per cent of global Chinatown transactions during Golden Week occurring in Sydney and Melbourne.

Over 3.1 million Chinese people participated in Alipay’s Golden Week lucky draw by interacting with Alipay’s official Weibo account. Globally, over three million Alipay e-Coupons were used by overseas travellers to secure discounts for shopping, dining and taxi rides.

World-wide Alipay processed 2.2 times as many overseas in-store transactions during this year’s holiday compared to last year. Twice as many women used Alipay over the holiday, while those born in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s account for 96 per cent of Alipay Golden Week activity.

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