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Wellington gets Fliggy with it

5 Apr 2019

Wellington businesses and tourist operators will soon have easy access to millions of Chinese customers through one of the world's largest online platforms.

WREDA has signed an MOU with Christchurch Airport granting Wellington tourist organisations use of the airport's store on Fliggy, Alibaba’s travel portal, which boasts more than 200 million members.

Similar to Expedia, Fliggy allows customers to book travel-related products such as flights, accommodation, tours and product bundles.

The agreement will also see small/medium Wellington region businesses able to leverage data from the airport’s agreement with Alibaba to better market and advertise their products on Tmall Global, Alibaba’s ‘online mall’ and the largest business to consumer website in the world.

Businesses will be able to sell products from boutique chocolate to Wairarapa wine on the platform and ship them directly to consumers in China.

Through both Fliggy and Tmall, brands develop and operate their own branded stores within the ‘online mall’. Christchurch Airport has created a ‘South’ store, focusing on the South Island, while Wellington businesses will have a separate section dedicated to their region

Access to the Chinese behemoth’s payment platform system, Alipay, will also begin to be ramped up in the capital under the agreement, with businesses provided support to set up and advertise within the app.

A select few Wellington businesses, such as Te Papa and Weta Workshop, have already introduced Alipay, which is used by more than 520m Chinese a month . Alipay is the preferred way for Chinese consumers to both find businesses and pay for goods and services.

WREDA General Manager Regional Development, Destination and Attraction, David Perks, says the MOU will give Wellington direct access to the Chinese market.

“A key part of that exposure is to get more Wellington businesses accepting payments through AliPay and WePay, which are used by nearly every Chinese tourist.”

Christchurch Airport Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer Justin Watson says the agreement has enormous potential.

“This is a great example of two parts of the country working together to grow New Zealand’s collective tourism and export success. In short, the agreement between the airport and WREDA will enable Kiwi businesses to connect and do business with the record number of Chinese visitors coming to New Zealand – before, during and after their trip.”

Watson expects the agreement to spark significant interest from businesses in and around the Wellington region.

“Alipay has 800 million Chinese users, Fliggy has 220 million members and Tmall Global has more than 515 million. This presents a huge opportunity. “

The MOU comes after it was revealed Wellington is the New Zealand city most Chinese want to visit on their trip.

More than 3000 recent Chinese travellers surveyed by Hotels.com had Wellington at the top of  the respondents’ wish list (52 per cent), followed by Auckland (45 per cent) and Queenstown (31 per cent).

WREDA has identified China as a priority, teaming up with some of Wellington’s top tourist organisations to strengthen its offering.

Dubbed Team Wellington, the partnership includes Te Papa, KiwiRail, Weta Studio Tours and Wellington International Airport and will inject an extra $2.5 million into attracting Chinese tourists to the region.