Visa and Beijing Tourism Administration launch 'Best Merchants in Beijing' Program

Travel News Asia Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Visa International and the Beijing Tourism Administration (BTA) have launched the Best Merchants in Beijing program designed to encourage merchants at numerous tourist attractions in Beijing to accept international payment cards. This is aimed at helping to improve the payment infrastructure in the city ahead of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Until the end of the year, the best merchants program will focus on merchants in nine locations frequented by tourists including Houhai, Sanlitun, the Badaling Great Wall, the Antique Mall, Silkway/Yaxiu, the Liulichang, Hongqiao, the Panjiayuan Antique Mall and the Capital International Airport. A total of 1,000 merchants are expected to join the program which will enable international Visa cardholders in Beijing to have easy electronic access to their funds.

Ten Best Merchants will be selected each month and will be awarded a complimentary ticket to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Moreover, Visa will provide all participating retailers with merchant training, and sales and promotional guides on accepting Visa cards. Visitors to Beijing will be able to identify participating merchants through their shop displays of the composite logos of Visa, BTA and the Olympics.

The BTA and Visa a share long-term partnership to promote China, said BTA Director Madam Xiong Yumei. In 2003, Visa established strategic partnerships with the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and the BTA to promote China through various international marketing programs to Visa cardholders across the world. In addition, Visa helped create 20 Visa-BTA Tourism Information Centers, which have helped serve more than 2.57 million tourists since they were established in 2001.

Recent data from BTA shows that the Beijing 2008 Olympics is expected to draw approximately seven million people to Beijing and its neighboring areas in and around the event. Of that total, 500,000 are expected to come from overseas. To this end, Visa is working closely with the government, tourism bodies and member banks to build a robust electronic payment system in China.

Visa is working closely with its member banks in China to share its knowledge and experience to improve the electronic payment environment in Beijing, said Richard Chang, executive vice president, Visa International Asia Pacific and General Manager, Greater China. The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games present an opportunity for merchants in the Best Merchants program to be involved in enhancing peoples experience of the Games, as well as benefit from Visas role as a TOP Olympic Games sponsor.

According to Visas merchant expansion plan, an extra 10,000 merchants in Beijing are expected to be added to the list of those accepting international cards by the end of 2008. Visa has been the exclusive payment card and official payment service of the Olympic Games since 1986, and its rights as a TOP sponsor will continue through to 2012, including the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Chang said Visa would draw on its Olympic experience to seek innovative ways to support the Olympic Games in Beijing next year. In Sydney, Australia, Visa generated US$40 million in marketing value for Australia over a four-year period from 1997 to 2000, with a 7% increase in tourism. During the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games, sales on Visa payment cards increased 30% over the same period in 2001 and 23% over the previous month. Visa transactions in Greece in August 2004 were increased by 55% year over year with an average transaction value of 86.25 (US$103.50), an increase of 44% compared with the equivalent figure for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. At the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games, the average transaction at Visas ATMs was 35% higher than in Athens and 95% higher than in Salt Lake City.

A safe and efficient payment system is important to the host country of the Olympics as visitors from all over the world expect to be able to make electronic payment as they do at home, Chang added.

See other recent news regarding: Visa, Beijing, Tourism, Visitor Arrivals, Olympics

Subscribe to our Travel Industry News RSS Feed Travel Industry News RSS Feed from To do that in Outlook, right-click the RSS Feeds folder, select Add a New RSS Feed, enter the URL of our RSS Feed which is: and click Add. The feed can also be used to add the headlines to your website or channel via a customisable applet. Have questions? Please read our Travel News FAQ. Thank you.



Copyright © 1997-2024