The provincial government is trying to attract more Chinese tourists to New Brunswick, by supporting the use of two of the most prominent mobile payment platforms from China at tourist attractions.
Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick President Ron Drisdelle says with China now the second largest overseas market for tourists, it's important to support Alipay and WeChat Pay.
"With no merchants machine to take their payment, they had to make sure that they had sufficient amount of cash on themselves," says Drisdelle. "And that just makes your trip planning that much more complicated."
He says in China, an increasing number of people aren't bringing cash, or credit or debit cards with them, instead they pay using WeChat Pay, or Alipay via their smartphones.
"This in itself lets Chinese visitors know that New Brunswick is customer focused, and that translates into happier consumers, and greater sales opportunities and return business for tourism operators," says Drisdelle.
He says with 10 million Chinese tourists expected to visit Canada over the next two years, this is a crucial opportunity to seize.
"They like open space, they travel in groups mostly, they like history, they like culture, they like art, and that's what they look for, and we have all of that," says Drisdelle.
He says any business owners looking to be able to provide this new payment option should reach out to TIANB, adding the cost per machine is $200.
New Brunswick's Finance Minister, Cathy Rogers, said they were contributing $5,000 to $10,000 for training on the new equipment as part of this agreement.
NB finance minister Cathy Rogers announces payment partnership between Tourism Industry Associayion of New Brunswick and two payment providers. #Moncton #MonctonNews #NB #nbpoli pic.twitter.com/f8GwR19pBG
— Dave Heintzman (@daveheintzman) February 27, 2018