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  • Writer's pictureLi Yanze

Alipay Enhances Tourism Cooperation Between China and Malaysia

Writer: Li Yanze

Editor: Yin Heng

(Alipay Overseas Payment. Photo source: Alipay official website)

As China relaxes its COVID-19 travel policies, a significant influx of Chinese tourists is flocking to Malaysia, driving the increased adoption of Alipay as the preferred payment method. This symbiotic relationship between Alipay and Chinese tourism is proving vital for Malaysia's tourism revival, offering convenience, familiarity, and seamless experiences to Chinese travelers.

At the end of 2022, the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism and the Malaysian Ministry of Culture were looking at 5 million Chinese tourists visiting Malaysia by 2023, compared to 3.1 million in 2019. Chinese tourists have long been a vital source of tourism revenue for Malaysia, and the recent return of Chinese visitors marks a positive milestone in the recovery of the tourism industry. The allure of Malaysia's diverse attractions, including stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, rich cultural experiences, and delectable cuisine, continues to captivate Chinese travelers seeking unique and memorable experiences.

In response to this surge in visitors, recognizing its significance in meeting the preferences and needs of Chinese tourists,the increasing acceptance of Alipay across various businesses in Malaysia, including hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, and transportation services, reflects the industry's recognition of the importance of catering to the preferences and needs of Chinese visitors. This includes providing Chinese-language signage, offering familiar payment methods, and ensuring a welcoming environment for Chinese tourists.

John Lim, Manager of A&R Urban Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, said, “We have witnessed a significant increase in Chinese guests since the reopening of borders. Accepting Alipay has been crucial in attracting and accommodating these visitors, as they appreciate the convenience and familiarity it provides. This has not only streamlined payment processes but also helped build trust and loyalty among our Chinese guests.”

Mohd Aiman Zainal Abidin, a shop assistant working at the 7-ELEVEN convenience store, said, “More and more Chinese tourists have been coming to our convenience store since last month, and most of them like to use Alipay. I think using Alipay has also eased my workload and I don't have to worry about getting the wrong customer's change.”

(Visitors use Alipay at the 7-ELEVEN convenience store. Photo source: CN NEWS website)

Tan Jia Cai, a restaurant owner in Mid Valley Megamall, shares his transformative experience, “Integrating Alipay into our payment options has been a game-changer for our business. It caters to the needs of Chinese tourists while also opening doors. The usage of Alipay in Malaysia not only propels the tourism industry forward but also benefits Chinese tourists. Alipay's ease of use and reliability have had a tangible impact on our daily operations and revenue.”

The collaboration between Malaysia and Alipay exemplifies the symbiotic relationship between tourism and digital innovation. Alipay's seamless integration into Malaysia's tourism landscape not only caters to the needs of Chinese tourists but also showcases Malaysia's commitment to providing exceptional experiences to international visitors,and the increasing usage of Alipay in Malaysia not only benefits Chinese tourists but also propels the country's tourism industry forward. It strengthens Malaysia's standing as a preferred destination for Chinese travelers and fuels economic growth. Alipay's promotion aligns with Malaysia's tourism development goals to deliver exceptional experiences to international visitors while simultaneously bolstering the growth of local businesses.

Qin Jia Qi, a tourist from China, noted, “This is my second time in Malaysia, I remember when I was here in 2016, I had to go to the bank to exchange cash, but now I can shop easily with Alipay and the exchange rate is very good, which makes me happy to shop in Malaysia!”

(Chinese tourist Qin Jia Qi shopping at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. Photo source: Li Yanze)

Furthermore, the rising reliance on Alipay underscores the robust cultural and economic ties between China and Malaysia. This digital innovation acts as a bridge connecting the two nations, facilitating cultural exchange and fostering long-term collaborations. The partnership between Alipay and Malaysia's tourism industry signifies a deepening connection and a shared vision for a prosperous future.

As Chinese tourism continues to rebound and Alipay gains further prominence, Malaysia is well-positioned to capture the attention of Chinese travelers and establish itself as a preferred destination for unforgettable experiences. Whether it's exploring vibrant cities, immersing in cultural experiences, or embarking on scenic adventures, Alipay is paving the way for a new era of travel convenience in Malaysia.

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