More Canadian organizations are partnering with international tech giants in a bid to make the country more hospitable to tourists.
The latest is Tourism Vancouver, as they have launched a brand new marketing partnership with Tencent in a bid to promote Vancouver as an ideal tourist destination to Chinese travellers. The partnership will last several years.
“Vancouver intends to be a pioneer in the future of travel from China,” said Stephen Pearce, Tourism Vancouver’s VP of marketing. “Tencent mobile tech allows Vancouver to welcome Chinese visitors with personalized and effortless travel experiences.”
Tencent, an investment holding conglomerate, is one of the largest companies in the world, pulling in close to $240 billion in revenue in 2017 alone. They own and run WeChat, the premier communication app for Chinese citizens, with over one billion active users.
The partnership will see Tencent Travel launch Canada’s first-ever WeChat city app. It will act as a mobile guide to provide Chinese tourists with itineraries, check-in features, and geo-specific information. It will also give tourists information about restaurants, hotels, shopping, sightseeing attractions and more.
China is the world’s largest source of outbound tourism, and Vancouver’s second highest point of origin for tourists behind the U.S.
“Tencent platforms provide a powerful bridge between cultures,” said Xu Chengjun, managing director of the Tencent Administration and Tourism Centre. “Our partnership brings the charm of Vancouver to our users, both at home in China as well as while travelling abroad.”
More features will be enabled soon, such as e-payments, AI-powered customer service, and more. Changes will be made based on the data and user insight provided to WeChat through the app.
This is the latest in a series of movies that has seen Canada fully embrace WeChat and Chinese tourists. Some Cadillac Fairview malls (including the Pacific Centre in Vancouver) recently began to support Alipay and WeChat Pay as forms of payment, while Oxford property malls began accepting them late last year.