Alibaba Group’s travel services platform Fliggy and Alipay, the digital payment platform operated by Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Financial, this week announced a partnership with the San Diego Tourism Authority and Brand USA, the destination-marketing organization for the U.S., to grow Chinese visitors to the California city.
As part of the collaboration, the Alibaba business units look to enhance the Chinese travel experience in San Diego by offering a mix of solutions, spanning marketing, airline and hotel booking, vacation packages, itinerary management and local payments.
“This collaboration with Brand USA and SDTA is the first of its kind for Alibaba in the U.S. and marks a major initiative to both grow Alipay merchants, as well as increase Chinese tourism to the U.S. through the Fliggy app,” said Wang Yulei, Alibaba Group vice president and head of North America.
“We are excited to cohesively leverage two major business units from within our ecosystem to provide comprehensive solutions to our travel partners and to bring more Chinese tourists to great cities across the world,” he said.
WATCH: San Diego Enriches Experience for Chinese Travelers
“The Chinese traveler is accustomed to using Alipay and Fliggy in their day-to-day lives, so we wanted to help make it as convenient and welcoming as possible for them as they visit San Diego,” said Christopher L. Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA.
Alipay created a designated “City Discovery Page” for San Diego that offers travel tips and an interactive map of the city in Chinese, as well as information and promotional offers from merchants who accept Alipay, such as SeaWorld San Diego, USS Midway, Old Town Trolley and Seal Tours, San Diego Museum of Man, Hornblower Cruises and the San Diego Air and Space Museum. Fliggy will also launch a landing page that features the city, including its key attractions, related vouchers and travel itinerary recommendations.
They will also join SDTA and Brand USA in rolling out a digital marketing campaign to promote the city to consumers in China, which in 2018, had led all other countries with a US$34.6 billion spend by tourists in the U.S. and ranked in the top five for the number of international visitors to the U.S. at about 3 million people, according to figures from the National Travel and Tourism Office.