Sunday, June 16, 2024

Visit Maldives Supports Weixin Pay Acceptance to Welcome Chinese Tourists

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On May 27, Visit Maldives and Weixin Pay signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during ITB China 2024, pledging to support more Maldivian merchants to accept Weixin Pay. This move will support Chinese tourists by making their payment experience more convenient. 

Zihuny Rasheed, Deputy Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC/Visit Maldives), and Etienne Ng, Weixin Pay’s Regional Director for Southeast Asia, signed the MOU. Ibrahim Faisal, Minister of Tourism of the Maldives, Mohamed Khaleel, Advisor to the President on Tourism Development and Ben Yang, Weixin Pay’s Managing Director for Southeast Asia and North America jointly witnessed the signing ceremony.

MMPRC/Visit Maldives and Weixin Pay signed a three-year MoU.

“China is a key source of tourists for the Maldives, and we greatly value the experience of Chinese visitors,” said Rasheed. “We plan on promoting the acceptance of Weixin Pay throughout the country, offering Chinese tourists the payment option they are familiar with and prefer. I have used Weixin Pay during my visit to China via linking an international card, and I can attest to the convenience of the mobile payment option.”

Ibrahim Faisal, Minister of Tourism of the Maldives, expressed his support. “Excited that we’re introducing Weixin Pay for Chinese visitors, which is another step in establishing Maldives as their top destination. Now it’s easier than ever for Chinese travelers to enjoy their stay, hassle free. We look forward to further enhancing their experience,” he said in a social post.

According to Ng, Weixin Pay is currently in a pilot phase at the country’s airport, as well as in popular locations and specialty stores including the airport duty-free store, Sala Thai restaurant, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, Velaa Private, and Chevel Blanc Randheli in Maldives, with strong support from the Bank of Maldives and local merchants. Making smooth progress, the initiative is expected to have 8,000 merchants nationwide that integrate the payment option later this year.

Weixin Pay is currently being piloted at an airport duty-free store.

“Weixin Pay is committed to providing users with safe and convenient payment services. Since the visa exemption policy was implemented, more and more Weixin Pay users have chosen to travel to the island country. Through our cooperation with Visit Maldives, we aim to provide Chinese users with the same convenient experience in travel as they experience at home,” he said.

In February 2023, the Agreement on Mutual Exemption of Visa Requirements signed between the Maldives and China took effect as China expands its visa-free policy to benefit more countries. Consequently, the Maldives has consistently ranked among the top overseas destinations for Chinese tourists during popular travel periods such as the May Day and National Day holidays. 

According to data from Visit Maldives, the country welcomed over 1.8 million tourists in 2023, a new national record. The Chinese market has been a key source market for the Maldives. As of May 11, 2024, it is the number one source market, with  91,073 tourist arrivals. 

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