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Smart China deal for tourism businesses

October 2, 2013 Association No Comments Email Email

Chinese visitors will find it easier to spend their money in New Zealand as a result of a new partnership announced today between the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) and Smartpay.

Smartpay’s Eftpos terminals are amongst only a few in New Zealand that accept UnionPay, the card preferred by most Chinese travellers, says TIA Chief Executive Martin Snedden.

“Chinese cardholders prefer to use UnionPay rather than cash, so it is vital that tourism businesses in New Zealand are able to accept this card. It will make the visitor experience much more rewarding for Chinese visitors, safer as they will not need to carry as much cash, and encourage them to spend more while they are here.”

China is New Zealand’s second largest visitor market and the fastest growing, up 27% to 229,184 in the year ending August 2013. It is also the second most lucrative visitor market, with Chinese travellers spending $645 million last year, up 24%.

Smartpay General Manger Sales & Marketing Mark Unwin says shopping is one of the most popular activities for Chinese visitors and they will seek out, shop and spend more at stores displaying the UnionPay logo.

“We are proud to be TIA’s preferred partner for UnionPay acceptance. Smartpay is the largest New Zealand owned and operated EFTPOS provider and we work to bring the latest in EFTPOS and payments technology to our customers in New Zealand and Australia,” Mr Unwin says.

“This partnership will add real value to TIA members’ bottom lines and improve the service New Zealand is delivering to Chinese visitors.”

Under the partnership agreement, each TIA member can receive one free Smartpay terminal dedicated to UnionPay for six months. If they take up the offer between 1 and 10 October 2013, they will also be eligible for a preferential 1.95% merchant service fee.

This offer is open to all TIA members, regardless of which bank they belong to.

Martin Snedden says New Zealand’s visitor profile is changing rapidly and it’s important that New Zealand’s tourism industry evolves as our markets change.

He says Union Pay will also be growing its coverage across Asia, so there is a good future fit with New Zealand tourism’s emerging markets.

“Ensuring visitors to New Zealand have a world-class visitor experience throughout their entire journey – from the moment they book their trip to their return home – is one of the key initiatives highlighted in Tourism 2025*, a new framework to grow the value of the industry over the long-term.”

*TIA is working with both the private sector and public sector to develop Tourism 2025, an aspirational plan that aims to unite and inspire the industry to adapt and succeed. It has a firm focus on growth and offering a quality visitor experience. It is being launched today at the 2013 TIA Summit in Wellington.

Visit for more information about Tourism 2025.

Go to for details about the 2013 TIA Summit, taking place at Te Papa, Wellington, on 1 October. The Summit is sponsored by Westpac, Wellington Airport, Lincoln University and Smartpay.

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