New data from Worldpay, the global merchant payments platform of financial technology provider FIS, provides detailed insight into how travel spending is expected to spike around the upcoming Chinese New Year and the opportunities this represents for UK merchants. Worldpay was acquired by FIS in July 2019.
Annual transaction data from Worldpay shows a 6% increase in the volume of hotel and flight bookings across the mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan markets during the days leading up to the start of the festival. This jump in travel spending comes as travellers become increasingly focused on quality experiences.
While the volume of sales continues to increase, the average value of flight-only bookings decreased by 4 percent from US$384 to US$369 year-over-year, according to data, as savvy travellers take advantage the competitive pricing and enticing offers promoted by an increasing number of low cost carrier (budget) airline operators across Asia. This indicates that travellers are now looking for more value when purchasing airline tickets and spending the extra money saved on new and exciting travel experiences.
Visit Britain predicts a 24% increase in bookings from China to the UK during Chinese New Year. Travellers from China are some of the UK’s highest spenders, splurging on average £2,059 during their visits, more than three times the all-market visitor average, an opportunity for UK merchants to capitalise on.
Motie Bring, head of EMEA Worldpay Merchant Solutions, FIS, commented: “As the number of Chinese travellers seeking luxury experiences continues to swell, UK merchants are experiencing a large revenue opportunity with tourists from China reaching our shores. This represents an excellent opportunity for UK travel and airline merchants to offer travellers last minute discounts and deals in order to capitalise on this trend. Increasingly, smartphones are the tool of choice for travelers in the mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan markets looking to research and book their trip. Successful operators will be the ones that recognize it’s not just about competing on price.”
Worldpay’s top tips for hotel and travel merchants looking to capitalise on this spike in tourism are:
- Ensure you have a Chinese language version your websites available
- Offer travellers their preferred payment methods, eg. Alipay, WeChat Pay and China Union Pay
- Provide consumer video demos on popular Chinese channels, for example Douyin and TikTok
About the data:
Figures quoted are taken from analysis of Worldpay’s Global Enterprise eCommerce transaction data for airlines and online travel agents and operators from the U.K. between 28 January-4 February 2018 and 28 January-4 February 2019.