The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Alipay, the Chinese mobile payment platform operated by Ant Financial, have inked a letter of intent (LoI) for a long-term strategic alliance.

The aim is to offer more product options to visitors in Thailand coming from China.

Commenting on the collaboration, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said: “The LoI signifies the commitment between both parties to forge a long-lasting strategic partnership.

“This cooperation in the field of tourism will facilitate Chinese tourists to access more options and enjoy better services while raising awareness among the Chinese about the ease of travelling to and around Thailand.”

In this context, Supasorn cited report by the China Tourism Academy and Ctrip that ranked Thailand as the most popular destination for Chinese tourists in 2018.

Supasorn said that China is the largest source market for Thailand, with more than 10.5 million tourists from China a year ago.

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Chinese visitors were said to spend an average THB55,579  ($1,746) per person per trip last year, a 5% rise on a year-on-year basis.

Earlier this year, Tyrolean firms added support for Chinese mobile payment solutions including Alipay.

This was made possible through a tie-up between Tirol Werbung, the tourism organisation of the Austrian state of Tyrol, and payments firm Wirecard.