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Payments, Promotions and the Return of China’s Tourists

China’s tourists spent $277 billion abroad in 2018. DCA’s February Expert Session explores how they will spend their money in 2023 and beyond. 

Before the pandemic, China sent more tourists abroad than any other country.  With its borders open again, there are questions about how long it will take for China’s tourists to resume their travel and spending – but it’s just a matter of time.  The pent-up demand for travel is as powerful in China now as it was in the rest of the world last year, when throngs of tourists clogged the world’s airports and key destinations. 

DCA’s February Expert Session on the return of China’s tourists is an in-depth conversation with Bo Wang, the founder and CEO of YouWorld.  YouWorld is a fintech that makes it easy for Chinese travelers to spend money abroad using their native currency via Alipay or WeChat Pay.  Bo has deep expertise in how to engage with the Chinese traveler, especially in the realms of payments and marketing.  

For a review of the Chinese tourist market before the pandemic, see this report.  For some insights into what it will look like in 2023 and beyond, DCA members can watch the February Expert Session with Bo Wang by either clicking the link in the Commerce Conversation email or by contacting us to receive access.

A Few Questions From the Conversation: 

  • Now that China’s “Zero Covid” restrictions are over, where do you think Chinese tourists want to go and what do they want to do when they get there? 
  • Credit cards aren’t common in China – WeChat Pay and AliPay are by far the dominant payment methods.  Given that, how do Chinese tourists abroad usually pay for things? 
  • Where do promotions and offers fit in here? How does that work with mobile wallets and other smartphone-based methods of payment? 
  • Three years is a long time in the technology world.  What will be most different about the Chinese tourism market now as compared to 2019?  And what has changed in terms of how payments will work? 
  • What are the biggest opportunities for western brands and retailers as Chinese tourists return? 
  • What are the risks for retailers, payments companies and others? 

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