Tencent joins hands with Dubai Tourism to increase visits to the Emirate
Memorandum of Understanding signed to deepen co-operation and explore tourism business opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative
Tencent, a leading provider of internet value added services in China, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) to jointly enhance Dubai’s reputation as a sought-after destination and spearhead smart tourism along the route of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Poshu Yeung, Vice President of Tencent International Business Group (IBG), and Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), signed the MoU as a continued commitment to promoting Dubai tourism. The ceremony was graced with the presence of distinguished guests including H.E Rahma bin Abdulrahman Al Shamsi, Consul-General of the United Arab Emirates in Guangzhou, Guiqian Yang, Director of Asian Affairs Division from Shenzhen Foreign Affairs Office, SY Lau, Senior Executive Vice President and Chairman of Tencent Group Marketing and Global Branding, and Candy Shen, General Manager of Tencent Public Policy Department.
Making use of Tencent’s expertise in Chinese consumer engagement and Dubai Tourism’s influence and network in Dubai, the partnership aims to foster the development of the tourism industry in Dubai through elevating Dubai Tourism’s marketing outreach efforts to China consumers, enhancing Chinese visitors’ travel experience in Dubai with Tencent’s leading digital platforms in China as well as deepening local merchants’ understanding of Chinese travelers’ consumption behavior via WeChat user insights.
Poshu Yeung, Vice President of Tencent IBG, said, “Dubai is our first strategic partner in the Middle East and an important flagship city to promote smart tourism. Harnessing Tencent’s technologies and platforms and utilizing Dubai Tourism’s local influence and network, this partnership will further build the success of our collaboration with Dubai Tourism to promote this unique city. We look forward to enhancing overseas travel experience in Dubai with local partners and driving the tourism industry along the Belt and Road.”
Issam Kazim, CEO of DCTCM, added, “Dubai is increasingly winning the hearts of Chinese tourists as a thrilling and exotic destination. We at Dubai Tourism are excited to strengthen our relationship with Tencent to further utilize its hugely popular and respected platforms. Our ongoing partnership to build affinity with our Chinese target audiences has been overwhelmingly successful. Through the extension of our agreement, Chinese travelers will receive targeted social feeds about our city’s offerings and enjoy a more immersive discovery of Dubai.”
With more than 1.04 billion monthly active users as of Q1 2018, WeChat and Weixin offer an excellent integrated platform to raise brand awareness among Chinese travelers. Tencent IBG’s “Social Ad Solutions” will enable Dubai Tourism to optimize the return on media investments and reach out to the key target audience segments. Tencent also provides support to other stakeholders in formulating in-market solutions that are customized to fit specific brand objectives.
WeChat first rolled out the CityExperience Mini Program in November 2017 to offer an interactive platform for Dubai Tourism to connect with Chinese travelers. As Tencent’s offerings increasingly penetrate Dubai’s tourism sector, the program could also be enhanced with Tencent Cloud’s suite of smart travel solutions to provide value-added functions such as AI customer service, which can be further utilized to facilitate Chinese tourists’ travel experience in Dubai. Such feature will enable Dubai Tourism to solve Chinese tourists’ enquiries in real-time in a more efficient way. The Chinese tourists insights will benefit tourism industry in Dubai to elevate their “China ready” offering. Tencent Cloud will continue to incorporate an array of advanced offerings such as cloud computing, IoT, AI and big data to work towards a Smart Dubai.
Through Dubai Tourism’s industry influence and network in Dubai, Tencent hopes to promote its offerings including WeChat and WeChat Pay as an option for convenient and secure mobile payment among Chinese tourists at local merchants. On the other hand, Dubai Tourism will also encourage Dubai merchants to adopt and leverage Tencent Cloud and ad solutions to enhance the overall experience of Chinese visitors and drive spending from this massive consumer group.
To deepen Dubai Tourism’s understanding of Chinese visitors, Tencent will provide users insights which serve as basis for them to develop targeted marketing strategies that tap into Chinese travelers’ behaviors and preferences. In addition, Tencent will also offer recommendations for other local stakeholders to open or improve their WeChat Official Accounts in order to build brand awareness more effectively. With this new partnership in place and more collaborative initiatives to come, Dubai will certainly gain popularity as a destination of choice for Chinese travelers.