‘WeChat Pay’s coverage extended to the Maldives’

Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay can now be utilized by mainland Chinese tourists in the Maldives, showcasing the extended reach of the firm’s popular digital wallet amidst China’s growing outbound travel industry.

The Chinese tech giant recently inked a three-year agreement with the tourism authorities of the Republic of Maldives to collectively promote WeChat Pay – known as Weixin Pay in mainland China – to merchants across the archipelagic state. Under this partnership, WeChat Pay has already been made available at select shops, restaurants, tourist attractions, and luxury resorts like Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and Velaa Private Island in the Maldives.

Acknowledging the significance of Chinese visitors, Zihuny Rasheed, deputy managing director of Maldives Marketing and PR Corp, expressed their commitment to promoting the acceptance of Weixin Pay to cater to the payment preferences of Chinese tourists.

In a bid to enhance convenience for Chinese tourists, Tencent aims to expand the coverage of WeChat Pay to 8,000 merchants in the Maldives by the end of the year. This move aligns with the rebound of Chinese holiday-goers traveling overseas, bolstered by Beijing’s new visa policies and increased international flight options.

China’s recent mutual visa-free agreements with countries like Singapore, Thailand, and Georgia have further fueled the interest in overseas travel among mainland Chinese tourists. This trend was evident during the recent May Day holiday, with outbound tourists accounting for a significant portion of total travelers, reflecting a 190% year-on-year increase.

The Maldives, offering visa-free entry to Chinese passport holders for up to 30 days, has been a longstanding favorite among mainland Chinese holidaymakers. Official data shows that Chinese tourists make up the largest share of inbound travelers to the Maldives, comprising 11% of total visitors.

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