Malaysia fourth top draw for Chinese tourists escaping Golden Week, Alipay data shows

Jerry Choong
Alipay said that while Malaysia remains popular as a tourist destination for Chinese citizens, it has yet to fulfill its potential due to a lack of widespread mobile payment usage in the country. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 — Malaysia was the fourth most popular tourism destination worldwide for Chinese travellers during the October Golden Week holiday period, according to data by popular spending app Alipay.

Malaysia beat Singapore in the Asean region, coming in just behind Thailand as the preferred tourism destination.

South-east Asia’s third biggest economy also recorded an increase of 1.4 times in transaction volume this year compared to 2018 for the Golden Week period, which took place from October 1 to October 7 this year.

“The average spend per user was RMB1,339 (RM789) with the most popular spending destinations being the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, convenience stores  and departmental stores,” said Alipay in a statement.

The payment and lifestyle platform company said that although Malaysia remains popular as a tourist destination for Chinese citizens, it has yet to fulfill its potential due to a lack of widespread mobile payment usage in the country.

“This is evident in the growth numbers we see in terms of transaction volume, but the average spend amount per user is lower than the global average, mainly due to the locations where mobile payments are accepted.

“There is an opportunity here that businesses can tap to drive greater sales, as more than 90 per cent of Chinese tourists have stated their willingness to spend more in stores accepting mobile payments,” said Alipay’s Cross-border Business for South and Southeast Asia general manager Cherry Huang.

She added that if Malaysian businesses and merchants were to embrace mobile payments, this would prove a great opportunity to attract even more Chinese tourists, with yearly transaction volume and average spend per user anticipated to rise.

China’s Golden Week refers to three different holiday periods, with the one at the beginning of October commonly known as the National Day Golden Week. The October period can sometimes be extended up to eight days if the Mid-Autumn Festival is within calendar range.

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