Germany promotes itself as a shopping destination

While Germany is famous for its automobiles, soccer and beer, the country is doing its utmost to appeal to Chinese travelers as a destination for shopping.

The German National Tourist Board and Chinese mobile payment giant Alipay recently teamed up to hold the first German Shopping Festival to attract Chinese tourists to Germany to shop.

Using Alipay’s app, shoppers who travel to Germany can browse different stores from a city map, read shopping tips in Chinese, receive electronic discount coupons and join in a lucky draw for exemption from payment of one’s bill.

In some restaurants in Germany, tourists can use Alipay to scan a QR code and take their order on a smartphone, just like in China, where mobile payment is extremely popular.

“It’s important to enhance the shopping experience of Chinese visitors, for example, to allow them to use a way they are familiar with when paying for purchases,” says Li Zhaohui, director of GNTB’s Beijing office.

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Last year, global market consultancy Nielsen and Alipay released a survey, which showed that Chinese tourists used mobile payment overseas far more frequently than their non-Chinese counterparts, and over 90 percent of Chinese tourists would prefer to use mobile payment methods overseas if given the option.

It showed that during their most recent trip overseas, Chinese tourists spent an average of $762 per person on shopping, far exceeding the spending by non-Chinese tourists ($486). Duty-free shops, department stores and supermarkets ranked as the most popular shopping outlets for Chinese tourists.

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