German city introduces online payment to attract Chinese tourists

Stuttgart launched a project to encourage local merchants to cooperate with Chinese online payment platforms such as Alipay and WeChat Pay. (Photo/People.cn)

In 2018, Stuttgart, a city located in southwest Germany, launched a project to encourage local merchants to cooperate with Chinese online payment platforms such as Alipay and WeChat Pay to help make travel more convenient for Chinese tourists.

So far, 75 merchants in the city have added mobile payment options, including Hotel Altbacher Hof and the CUBE restaurant.

The hotel introduced Alipay to bring convenience to Chinese tourists as well as help local people understand the advantages of e-payment, said the hotel’s general manager. The CUBE restaurant in the city center received 20 percent more Chinese tourists after it introduced Alipay.

Breuninger, a Stuttgart-based department store retailer, has introduced both Alipay and Wechat Pay to all 11 of its outlets. It’s crucial to adopt a more convenient pattern of payment for Chinese customers, as they account for 50 percent of the store’s foreign customers, explained the brand’s tourism marketing director.

An increasing number of Chinese tourists have visited Stuttgart in recent years. In 2018, the city received about 68,664 overnight Chinese visitors, up from just 10,000 back in 2001.