Travel trickles down: China’s travel boom hits small-city residents and middle agers

China User Experience Mobile Payments: Alipay Users

The data

The post-Chinese New Years stats are in: according to Alipay’s official Spring Festival holiday numbers, the app saw the sharpest increase in international mobile payments among third- and fourth-tier city residents and among those in late middle age. Over the holiday travel rush, payments:

  • Increased 130% among those born in the 1960s.
  • Increased among third- and fourth-tier city residents. Cities that saw the sharpest jump were Zhoushan (55% increase over last year) and Weifang (50%).

Why it matters

  • For the last five or so years, China’s mobile boom has been centered around the country’s metropolitan areas and travelers in their 20s and 30s. We’re now beginning to see the rise in urban markets and older travelers adopting mobile payment platforms.
  • A report by Nielsen found that 91% of Chinese travelers were more likely to spend at stores that accept payment via platforms like Alipay. As travel fever spreads to more diverse markets, supporting payment platforms will become a must for travel and tourism industry players hoping to grab a slice of the pie.



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