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Larnarch Castle

Valuable new tool helping South Island businesses

Christchurch Airport is helping South Island businesses join global super app, Alipay, so they can more easily do business with the record numbers of Chinese visitors coming to New Zealand.

More than 300 South Island businesses have so far become Alipay merchants under the project – including Larnach Castle.

Alipay is the world’s leading mobile and online payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group. The Chinese smartphone app that has more than 520 million users and is used to pay for everything from street food to luxury merchandise all over the world. It is also a valuable marketing tool for its merchants.

Larnach Castle’s Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Deborah Price says their move to Alipay has been an easy one, and the app is helping attract visitors to the well-known attraction.

“We’re really thrilled with Alipay’s success in our business – it’s ticking over really well.”

“China has overtaken England, America and Europe to be one of our biggest international visitor markets. Our Strategy is to make it easy for Chinese visitors to come to us and enjoy the experience – joining Alipay was part of that.”

Price says Alipay is really easy to use and everyone’s excited about it.

“Even our older members of staff, who thought it was beyond them, are finding it easy.”

Christchurch Airport’s Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer Justin Watson says the Chinese trust and know how Alipay works and are therefore more likely to spend with a kiwi business that offers Alipay than one that doesn’t. 

“Better still, being an Alipay merchant lets kiwis do business with these visitors before, during and after their holiday here.”

The app allows users to look up places to stay or eat and book activities before they leave China. Once in the country, visitors will receive notifications on their smartphone when they’re near any business that accepts Alipay.