Payments giant Alipay is piloting a \u2018Sydney City Card\u2019 aimed at visiting Chinese tourists.\nDespite the name the service does not involve a physical card, but rather an in-app map that offers geo-targeted promotions at tourist hotspots.\n \nAlipay users will be given recommendations on what to see and where to shop in the city, with special offers served up when they are in areas including The Rocks, Darling Harbour, Sydney Fish Market, Sydney Airport, Westfield Sydney, and Chinatown in Haymarket.\n \nAround a hundred retailers and tourist destinations are involved in the pilot \u2013 which has the backing of Tourism Australia \u2013 including BridgeClimb Sydney, the Sydney Aquarium, and Captain Cook Cruises.\n \n\u201cThe Sydney City Card pilot is an innovative approach to engaging with our largest tourist market, and provides Australia with a critical advantage over other regional tourist hotspots during this peak annual travel period,\u201d said Alipay country manager George Lawson.\n \n\u201cProviding this tailored and convenient customer experience is critical to maintaining and enhancing Australia\u2019s reputation as a leading international tourist destination for Chinese travellers,\u201d he added.\n \nChinese visitors account for 81 per cent of the growth in tourism spend in Australia over the last 12 months, according to Nielsen. Austrade figures show more than 1.4 million Chinese tourists travelled to Australia in the year ending November 2018 spending more than $11.5 billion.\n \nA 2018 Nielsen study found 99 per cent of Chinese tourists had the Alipay app installed on their mobile phone.\n \nAustralian financial institutions have been adding Alipay compatability over the last year. In August, business-only bank Tyro said it would be the first Australian bank to offer all-in-one EFTPOS with integrated Alipay acceptance with its merchants. The first merchant implementation of Alipay was by Tyro customer, duty-free retailer Heinemann Australiain October.\n \nIn November NAB launched a pilot with a small group of its business merchant customers to support Alipay payments on point of sale terminals, ahead of a wider roll-out this year. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) added Alipay availability to its 94,000 Albert POS terminals in December.\n \n\u201cToday\u2019s new generation of free and independent Chinese traveller has extremely high demands of an overseas destination, and a big part of meeting those expectations is undoubtedly around convenience and being made to feel welcome,\u201d said Tourism Australia managing director John O\u2019Sullivan. \n\u201cWe know the huge importance that Chinese travellers attach to Alipay as a preferred and trusted mobile payment system, and I have every confidence that the added value they\u2019ll receive from the new Sydney City Card will prove hugely popular, by making the on-the- ground holiday experience easier and more engaging,\u201d he added.\n \nThe pilot, which will go on for 12 months and run concurrently with a similar initiative in Queenstown, New Zealand, has been launched in time for the Chinese New Year.