Centara Hotels and Resorts, the Thai hotel operator, has announced that it is now accepting WeChat Pay transactions on its websites for online room reservations.
This is in addition to the 15 hotels that already deploy nearly 100 devices for QR code scanning on WeChat Pay. It says it is the largest hotel group in Thailand offering Chinese tourists omnichannel payment solutions.
Bills for accommodation, restaurants and spa treatments can be paid directly from smartphones.
The company expects to have WeChat Pay at all its sites globally by the end of 2018.
Thirayuth Chirathivat, Centara chief executive officer, said: “A seamless payment experience for consumers using any channel is an element of our platform for expansion, which should see us double both revenue and the number of our properties over the next five years.
"As consumer behaviour evolves, Centara has adopted an omnichannel strategy to stay relevant and to provide a great customer experience. We embrace these types of disruptive opportunities to better serve our guests and stay on top of the industry.”
Chinese tourists account for almost one-third of all foreign visitors. Thailand is welcoming an ever-increasing number of Chinese visitors, for whom the kingdom remains the top travel destination. This year, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports expects more than 10 million Chinese tourists to travel to Thailand.
WeChat Pay is the payment solution of WeChat, one of the largest social networks in China, and the main cashless payment method for small transactions with more than 800 million active users in its database.
“The number of Chinese tourists booking with Centara keeps growing. They are a significant customer base for all businesses in Thailand. Centara’s Chinese website receives hundreds of thousands of visits with almost half from mobile devices,” Thirayuth said.