Casa Batlló one of the first companies to incorporate Wechat Pay
Casa Batlló is making preparations for “Golden Week” to welcome the 24,000 Chinese tourists expected in Barcelona during the month of October, according to data from COTRI (China Outbound Tourism Research Institute). “Golden Week” is the name of the 7-day national holiday that was first launched in China in 2000. It is one of the most important holidays in the People’s Republic of China as it coincides with its National Day on 1 October; a way to expand the Chinese tourist market and improve quality of life.
Last year, on the same dates (from 1 to 7 October), Casa Batlló received 4,000 Chinese tourists. This year, 50% more tourists are expected. That is why the company has decided to incorporate Wechat Pay into the WeChat Miniprogram platform, one of the most widely used payment systems in China, with over 1,000 million active users.
In turn, Casa Batlló is also one of the first Gaudí monuments to incorporate Alipay as a payment system on its offline sales service, given that, based on its experience in recent years with this market, it is much more efficient to offer payment services that are well known by Chinese tourists, rather than forcing them to adapt to a system that they may not be familiar with. To connect with this market, Casa Batlló also opened a profile on Weibo which, along with Wechat, are the two most successful social networks in China. Furthermore, Casa Batlló just launched its new website in Chinese, with a new design and a new look, and also including new content adapted to the interests of Chinese tourists.
Casa Batlló opened its account on WeChat a year ago, but it created the “Miniprogram” just one week ago to welcome Golden Week with special discounts based on a collaboration agreement with Qyer (a platform similar to Tripadvisor, where users leave reviews on aspects related to their trips) and Tiqets (a platform for the sale of international tourist products and services based in Holland).
There has been a significant growth of Chinese tourists in Spain. During 2017, according to data from the Spain-China Tourism Association (ATEC), Spain received more than 700,000 Chinese tourists, of which 15%, that is, over 100,000, visited Casa Batlló. This figure continues to grow each year and in the first half of 2018 (from January to June), Casa Batlló increased the number of Chinese visitors by 23% compared to the previous year.
It is also worth noting that, besides the increase in the number of Chinese tourists who visited Casa Batlló during Golden Week compared to the previous year, another important date for Chinese tourism is in February, when the “Chinese New Year” is celebrated, the most important holiday of the year within their calendar. In 2017, Casa Batlló received 83% more than the previous year. These figures demonstrate that it is an exponential market and the greater the number of facilities provided, the greater the efficiency in terms of transactions, improving the company’s reputation, as it can offer a simpler travel experience. The profile of the Chinese tourist according to the 2016 Report “Barcelona and the Chinese Market. Global data and demand profile” by Barcelona Turisme, the city of Barcelona is a destination that is well loved among Chinese tourists. Their profile tends to be consistent: young people with a high income (approximately 1,400 euros net per month), 9 out of 10 have never been in Barcelona and the majority from 5 areas (Shanghai, Beijing, Taiwan, Guangzhou and Hong Kong). Their average stay in Barcelona is 3 nights. Furthermore, 7 out of 10 Chinese tourists visit other European countries during the same trip and mostly travel with friends or their partner and without children. What most inspires them in Barcelona is the architecture, the local cuisine, the cultural activities and the museums.
About Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló is a monument created by Gaudí, which welcomes and promotes cultural, artistic and sensory experiences with the aim of surprising, amazing and inspiring visitors through Gaudí’s work. In 2018, Casa Batlló ranked sixth in the Travellers’ Choice awards, among “the 10 best tourists sights: Spain”, awarded by Tripadvisor. Casa Batlló has become a legend within the field of art, architecture and the universal design of all times, with over one million visits every year. The general visit to Casa Batlló includes the SmartGuide, enabling visitors to live an authentic 20th Century adventure thanks to an immersive experience of augmented reality. Furthermore, Gaudí’s gem was recognised as a National Historic Monument in 1969; an Asset of Cultural Interest by the Regional Government of Catalonia in 1987; it was awarded the Europa Nostra Prize for heritage conservation in 2000; named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005 and received an IBOCC Prize by the International Bureau of Cultural Capitals in 2008.