Cen­tara adds WeChat Pay

Bangkok Post - - NATIONAL -

Cen­tara

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.

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