Friday, 12 July 2019 10:55

Alipay launches mobile tool to promote Melbourne

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Alipay launches mobile tool to promote Melbourne Image by Michael Baragwanath from Pixabay

Leading Chinese payment platform Alipay has launched a mobile tool to promote Melbourne's top tourist and retail destinations to Chinese tourists.

A statement from Ant Financial Holdings, the parent company of Alipay, said the Melbourne City Card was being promoted by the City of Melbourne to business precincts and shopping centres in a bid to support the retail, small business and hospitality sectors.

The card is aimed at showing Chinese visitors places they can visit while in Melbourne, promote areas like the Yarra River, Collins Street, Chinatown, Docklands, Lonsdale Street and Melbourne Airport.

Apart from this, Alipay will promote Melbourne through its Chinese social media and other channels in China.

"An interactive mobile map operates through the Alipay app, which together with its regional partners has more than one billion users worldwide," the statement said.

"In Australia, tens of thousands of merchants accept Alipay, with more than 100 leading Melbourne retailers and tourist destinations involved in the Melbourne City Card promotion."

George Lawson, country manager of Alipay, Australia and New Zealand, said: "Melbourne is a world-class tourist destination, and the launch today of the Melbourne City Card is aimed at promoting the city’s leading hotspots and merchants to Australia’s largest and most important tourism market.”

“We have already seen from the success of the city card pilot in Sydney that this is a highly effective method of engaging with Chinese visitors both before and during their holidays.

"This partnership will further enhance Melbourne’s reputation as a fantastic tourist destination, and provide the best possible experience for Chinese visitors.”

City of Melbourne Small Business, Retail and Hospitality Portfolio Chair Councillor Susan Riley said: "I am pleased to welcome the introduction of the Melbourne City Card which helps connect Chinese visitors with boutique local stores, major brands and popular tourist destinations.

“Melbourne is a key tourist destination for Chinese visitors and the Melbourne City Card will offer them greater convenience and help them feel more welcome as they explore our city.

“The City of Melbourne has helped support businesses’ participation in the Melbourne City Card by connecting retailers with Alipay and holding a workshop on the app in May.”

China is Australia’s biggest tourism market, with more than 1.4 million Chinese visiting Australia in the year ending April 2019, with an annual trip spend of more than $12 billion, on annual growth of 10%.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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