China agreement strengthens tourism ties

19 April 2013

Tourism Minister Leon Bignell has signed an agreement in Shanghai with UnionPay International – a subsidiary of one of the largest global bankcard schemes – to make it easier for Chinese tourists to travel and shop in South Australia.

UnionPay cards have one of the fastest-growing and most widely-recognised networks in the world, with 3.5 billion card-holders worldwide.

Minister Bignell said the Memorandum of Understanding between the South Australian Government and UnionPay International will create benefits for both parties.

“Increasing numbers of Chinese visitors will now be able to use UnionPay cards in South Australia, making it easier for them to get out and enjoy everything our great state has to offer,” Minister Bignell said.

“Our visitors from China are restricted in the amount of cash they can bring to Australia and want to use their UnionPay cards, so overcoming any barriers they face helps them enjoy their stay.

“Visitors from China can bring up to $US5000 into Australia, however UnionPay transactions are converted directly into the Chinese currency Renminbi, and these transactions are not included in a traveller’s personal limit.

“There’s a Chinese saying - ‘be thrifty at home and spend liberally while travelling’ - and when the distinctive China UnionPay logo is displayed in shops, sales increase dramatically.”

The agreement will see the State Government and UnionPay International work together to promote South Australia as a tourism destination.

A first measure is making sure UnionPay cardholders know where they can already access and use UnionPay at many places in South Australia.

The card is currently compatible with all National Australia Bank facilities and from July will also be accepted by all Commonwealth Bank facilities.

The South Australian Government will now support China UnionPay in forging agreements with other banks and South Australian companies.

“This agreement will benefit the local economy and tourism operators, as well as making our valued Chinese visitors’ stay in South Australia more comfortable and convenient,” Minister Bignell said.  

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