Overall transaction volume on Alipay increased by 40 percent in New Zealand during 2019's 'Golden Week', compared to the same week last year.

The week-long national holiday in China is the country's second-busiest tourism period of the year. 99 percent of Chinese visitors use Alipay, with this year's improvement driven by strong growth in the food and beverage sector, supermarkets, and duty-free stores.

New Zealand was the 13th most popular destination globally for Chinese travellers during Golden Week. The country’s tourism growth slowed relative to markets across Europe and South-East Asia as tourists opted for an increasingly varied range of destinations, including Iceland, Montenegro and Uzbekistan.

Alipay promoted New Zealand merchants to Chinese consumers during Golden Week through a social media campaign on video creation and sharing platform DouYin (known as TikTok outside of China), which attracted 14.4 million views. Prominent New Zealand merchants including NZONE Skydive, Aotea Gifts and Real Journeys were featured in the campaign.

Alipay Australia and New Zealand Director, John O’Loghlen, said that as New Zealand faces increasing competition for Chinese tourism dollars from other destinations, businesses should review their strategies for engaging with Chinese consumers.

“Chinese interest in New Zealand as a tourist destination has boomed in recent years, and initiatives like the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism are critical to ensure we take advantage of this economic opportunity,” he said.

“However as international competition for Chinese tourism increases – as this data shows, Kiwi businesses need to start tailoring digital and in-store engagement strategies to the Chinese market, and reaching out to Chinese consumers through the mobile platforms they engage with daily, such as the Discovery marketing tools on the Alipay platform. This is particularly important for key tourism periods like Lunar New Year and Golden Week.”

Japan overtook Thailand to become the most popular Chinese tourist destination for Golden Week based on Alipay transaction volume for the first time, with South Korea, Malaysia and Australia rounding out the top five.

There was also a generational shift to the data, with the number of Chinese travellers born in or after 2000 using Alipay during Golden Week increasing by 130 per cent, demonstrating the rapidly growing Gen Z Chinese traveller market.

A 2018 Nielsen study found 99 per cent of Chinese tourists had the Alipay app installed on their mobile phone. A 2019 Nielsen survey of 1,244 overseas merchants found that nearly 60 per cent of those that adopted Alipay saw a subsequent growth in both foot traffic and revenue.