UnionPay International Deepens its Cooperation with African Tourism Authorities

19 May 2016

UnionPay International announced its comprehensive cooperation with the Johannesburg Travel and Tourism Administration in South Africa (hereinafter referred to as the “Johannesburg Tourism”) in extending UnionPay’s card-using channels and exchanging tourist information. The two sides also jointly promoted over 100 local merchants to launch exclusive discounts and privileges for UnionPay cards (card number starting with 62).

Now, the UnionPay acceptance network has expanded to 157 countries and regions. While enhancing its payment service level, UnionPay International is deepening its cooperation with the tourism industry. It has not only formed strategic partnership with UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization), but has cooperated with the tourism administrations of several countries and regions, including Hong Kong, UK, Australia and UAE. In this way, UnionPay International offers payment services that better suit the tourists’ needs, helps these countries and regions to attract more tourists, and thus promotes international economic and tourism exchange and cooperation.

With the Chinese tourists’ traveling destinations become increasingly diversified, UnionPay International has cooperated with Cape Town Tourism last year, making Cape Town Tourism the first tourist administration in Africa that has reached cooperation with UPI. Now, it extends its cooperation with Johannesburg Tourism. Currently, South Africa has set up 9 visa application centers in China, in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Xi’an, Shenyang, Wuhan, Jinan and Hangzhou. It also plans to offer visa-free privilege to the Chinese, so as to attract more tourists. Since the UnionPay card is the most frequently used payment method for Chinese outbound tourists, various parties of South African tourism industry hope to cooperate with UnionPay International to jointly improve the tourist payment environment in South Africa.

The two sides will carry out cooperation in the following three aspects: First, taking advantage of Johannesburg Tourism’s market position and resources, the two sides will jointly promote the local institutions to enable more ATMs and merchants to accept UnionPay cards; Second, the two sides will promote more quality merchants to offer exclusive discounts and privileges for UnionPay cards in order to encourage cardholders visiting South Africa to use UnionPay cards; Third, the two sides will exchange tourism information so as to enhance tourism service level. For instance, the two sides will jointly compose a guide for traveling and using UnionPay cards in Johannesburg. Tourists will be able to collect the guide at local airports, shopping centers and major tourist attractions free of charge.

To support this cooperation, UnionPay International and Johannesburg Tourism will jointly carry out a marketing campaign for the first time. UnionPay cardholders can enjoy 5-10% off discount at over 100 well-known merchants in Johannesburg, covering various types of merchants including catering, hotels, scenic spots, and car rental.

Currently, UnionPay cards can be used conveniently in 48 African countries. Over 50% of ATMs and 60% of merchants in South Africa accept UnionPay cards, covering major airports, hotels, scenic spots, and featured stores most frequented by tourists. It is expected that the local acceptance coverage of UnionPay cards will expand to over 80% by June this year.

UnionPay International (UPI) is a subsidiary of China UnionPay focused on the growth and support of UnionPay’s global business. In partnership with more than 1000 institutions worldwide, UnionPay International has enabled card acceptance in 160 countries and regions with issuance in more than 40 countries and regions. UnionPay International provides high quality, cost effective and secure cross-border payment services to the world’s largest cardholder base and ensures convenient local services to a growing number of global UnionPay cardholders and merchants.

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