Centara adds WeChat Pay
Hotels & Resorts, Thailand’s leading hotel operator, has announced it is now accepting WeChat
Pay transactions on its websites for online room reservations.
The company already has 15 hotels that use nearly 100 electronic data capture devices for QR code scanning via WeChat Pay, making it the largest hotel group in Thailand offering Chinese tourists omni-channel payment. Bills for accommodation, restaurants and spa treatments can be paid directly from smartphones.
Centara expects to have WeChat Pay at all its properties globally by the end of 2018.
“A seamless payment experience for consumers using any channel is an element of our platform expansion, which should see us double both revenue and the number of our properties over the next five years,” said Thirayuth Chirathivat, chief executive of Centara.
“As consumer behaviour evolves, Centara has adopted an omni-channel strategy to stay relevant and 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 travellers to Thailand. About 35 million foreigners visited the country last year.
The Tourism and Sports Ministry expects more than 10 million Chinese tourists to travel to Thailand this year.
WeChat Pay is the payment arm of WeChat, one of the largest social networks in China. The network has become the main cashless payment method for daily small transactions in China and has 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 www.centarahotelsandresorts.cn as well as centarahotelsresorts.com receive hundreds of thousands of visits from Chinese users, he said.
“Almost half the visits come from a mobile device. Earlier this year, we signed an agreement with TreePayCo, a payment platform facilitator, to develop a system that allows Chinese customers to use their mobile phones to make e-payments outside of China for accommodation and services at Centara properties,” Mr Thirayuth said.
Centara Hotels & Resorts operates 60 properties at major Thai destinations plus the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Laos, China, Oman, Qatar and the UAE.
Over the next five years Centara aims to double its size with additional properties in Thailand and new international markets, while spreading its footprint to new continents.
WeChat Pay for online bookings is available at Centara hotels.