UnionPay has utilised the Tourism Indaba (taking place in Durban from 8 – 10 May) to facilitate closer collaboration between South Africa and Chinese Tour Operators. Top 10 tour operations and online travel agencies were invited to join this collaboration, including TripAdviser China, C-Trip, CITS, Qyer, Mafengwo, GZL and Phoenix Travel Worldwide.

From 24th to the 29th of June, UnionPay will be promoting South African destinations with South African Tourism at 3 cities in China – Beijing, Chongqing and Shenzhen.

This is an exciting development and the first ever, says Mr. Zhang Luping, General Manager of UnionPay International Africa Office. The Chinese and Asian markets are some of the fastest growing markets for travel into South Africa and we need to facilitate business accordingly.

UnionPay cards have become the commonly used payment method of Chinese outbound tourists and are gaining popularity among an increasing number of global consumers.  As a result, we’re looking to forge closer relationships between Chinese and local tourism operators in an effort to facilitate a smooth travelling experience for our clients.

Many more tourists worldwide are traveling independently and discovering cities and countries in depth, says Mr. Zhang Luping.

UnionPay International has included many culture and entertainment vendors in its all-year-long global promotional campaigns to enrich the cardholders’ travel experience. The campaigns are namely global airport duty free campaign, global travel destination campaign and global shopping spree campaign.

Participation of merchant program is free of charge for any businesses in the tourism and retail industry. The company is looking at a discretional offers that vendors are willing to extend to the UnionPay global cardholder base.

We promote travel and retail services providers through our vast marketing channels, local and international, says Mr. Zhang Luping. We succeed through memberships and partnerships with banks, tour operators, online operators, governments and tourism authorities around the world. Partner with UnionPay to reach the world’s largest cardholder base.


Q: What is the objective of this event?

A:  To establish partnership between UnionPay International and SA Tourism to promote   South Africa as a tourist destination so as to offer safer and easier payment services to UnionPay cardholders visiting the country while helping the local operators and businesses to attract more customers.

Q: Why is it important?

A:  Tourism is a significant pillar of the South African economy, and safe, efficient and convenient payment services play an important role in promoting the sustainable development of the tourism industry. As the preferred payment brand for the Chinese outbound tourists as well as an increasing number of global travellers, UnionPay has been made great efforts to carry out cross-over cooperation with the tourism industry to facilitate the development of both the tourism and the payment industries.

This time, the cooperation with the tourism industry in South Africa will integrate the resources of all the parties in order to deliver more secure and convenient payment services to UnionPay cardholders visiting South Africa.  The objective is, as well as to bring more clients to the local institutions and merchants, and thus to realise a win-win situation for all involved!

Q:         Has this been done before?

A:  This is the first time UnionPay International Africa has facilitated held an event of this kind to facilitate the exchanges and cooperation between the tourism and payment industries of the two countries.

Q: What will be the benefit to the local operators to establish such partnership with UnionPay and the Chinese operators?


  • Since UnionPay is the preferred payment brand for tourists from China and many other Asian markets, accepting UnionPay will help the local service providers and businesses attract more customers.
  • Communication and partnership with China’s tourism industry may also help the South African Tourism providers better understand the needs and demands of tourists from Greater Asia.
  • Players in the local tourism industry can also join the UnionPay global campaigns, conduct joint marketing campaigns with UnionPay to better promote their brands and tap into UnionPay cardholders’ spending potential.

UnionPay At A Glance

  • Over 7 billion cardholders issued in 48+ countries and regions
  • Accepted in 168 countries and regions

Benefits of Joining UnionPay International’s Global Campaigns

  • Exposure to billions of global UnionPay cardholders
  • Targeted advertising via UnionPay’s mobile app
  • Cooperation opportunities with 30+ top Chinese travel agencies
  • Promotion on UnionPay’s official communications channels