(Yicai Global) Nov. 27 -- WeChat is inviting tourism boards from around the globe to unite in a travel coalition whose members can use the messaging and lifestyle app's features to augment Chinese tourists' experiences overseas.
The Welcome With WeChat Alliance aims to digitize the tourism sectors of member regions by using the mini programs and payments features of WeChat, the app's operator Tencent Holdings said online after revealing the plan at an event in Beijing yesterday. Representatives from some 30 countries, regions and cities attended the ceremony.
Some 150 million travelers headed abroad from China in 2018, and 81 million in the first half of this year. WeChat has already teamed up with tourism agencies from Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore and Auckland since January, which helped lay the foundations for its new multinational plan.
"Social media now plays a very important role in attracting tourists," said Li Zhaohui, a representative for the German National Tourist Board. He hopes WeChat's technology and vast online traffic can help his administration promote the app in Germany once the alliance gets underway.
There are nearly 1.2 billion monthly active users on WeChat and its international version, according to Tencent's third quarter financial report. Mini-apps within the programs have over 300 million daily active users and WeChat Pay's overseas business now covers 60 countries and regions and supports cross-border payments in 16 currencies.
Editor: James Boynton