With the Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, approaching, many Chinese people are planning to celebrate the festival overseas. The latest data show that the number of Chinese people booking travels for this Spring Festival is 1.7 times of that of the same period of next year, and 70% of the tourists are going to travel overseas. With the Chinese New Year become a travel peak of the global tourism, accepting UnionPay cards has become a crucial service offered by overseas merchants to welcome Chinese tourists.
During the second half of 2017, 6 more countries and regions started accepting UnionPay cards. The UnionPay acceptance network now expands to 168 countries and regions, covering over 23 million merchants and 1.64 million ATMs outside the Chinese Mainland. During this Spring Festival, merchants in 22 overseas destinations will offer exclusive discounts of up to 30% off for UnionPay cardholders.
UnionPay cards accepted at 23 million merchants outside mainland China
A Chinese tourist, Huang Yiyun, has recently observed that in Hungary, a non-Eurozone country, it is more convenient to withdraw cash with UnionPay cards than exchanging currencies before departure. A Chinese netizen “Qingniwa” shared his experience of seeing the UnionPay logo in Vladivostok, Russia, exclaiming that “UnionPay has become the world’s UnionPay”. Another Chinese netizen, “Dengdengdengbao”, said that it is as convenient to use UnionPay cards as it is in Hong Kong.
Now, in Northeast and Southeast Asia where Chinese tourists visit most often, UnionPay’s ATM acceptance coverage is more extensive than that of other international card brands, and over 70% of the merchants in these regions accept UnionPay. In long-distance and emerging tourist destinations for Chinese outbound tourists, UnionPay’s acceptance network is expanding rapidly. For instance, UnionPay’s acceptance penetration in Russia and Spain is over 90%, and UnionPay’s acceptance coverage in New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Morocco is substantially enhanced too.
Meanwhile, more and more spending scenarios are accepting UnionPay. Taking transportation as an example, UnionPay cards are accepted at all the direct-sale stores of Hertz in Australia, all the payment channels of Amtrak and some taxies in Hong Kong, satisfying the payment needs of free-and-independent tourists.
Moreover, as more and more Chinese tourists become accustomed to paying with mobile phones, many merchants outside mainland China are accepting UnionPay mobile payment products. During the second half of 2017, merchants in Japan and Greece started accepting UnionPay mobile QuickPass, enabling UnionPay cardholders to pay by tapping mobile phones. By the end of 2017, UnionPay mobile QuickPass is accepted at about 1 million POS terminals in 18 countries and regions outside mainland China. In addition, cardholders may also download the APP of “UnionPay” to pay with UnionPay QR code at merchants in Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore. Six department stores of AsiaMalls Group in Singapore will start accepting UnionPay QR code payment soon.
Multiple privileges and services to enhance tourist travel experiences
To better serve outbound tourists during this Spring Festival, UnionPay International has launched the special offer by cooperating with merchants in 22 selected travel destinations, offering abundant discounts and privileges to UnionPay cardholders. Prior to February 28, UnionPay cardholders may enjoy up-to-30%-off discounts when spending at the 10 major global duty-free groups, 20 renowned brands, 30 department store groups, 20 tourism brands and 10 Michelin-starred restaurants. The majority of the discounts offered are the best available. These merchants include DFS, South Coast Plaza, Galeries Lafayette and Quantum of the Seas, etc.
Meanwhile, with more Chinese outbound tourists prefer to experience the local lifestyle and culture, this Spring Festival special offer also covers many entertainment merchants, including Fabergé Museum in Russia, Helipass in France, and Shopper Hopper in Australia.
Besides the abundant discounts, it is also safe, convenient and cost-effective to pay with UnionPay cards outside mainland China. UnionPay offers stable, transparent and preferential exchange rates, and charges no currency conversion fee. Tourists may claim for tax refund with UnionPay cards after spending at over 300,000 merchants in 38 countries and regions. After purchasing in Germany, Italy, UK and France, UnionPay cardholders may claim for tax refund downtown, or claim for tax refund after returning to China.