Mastercard signs strategic cooperation agreement with the Research Institute of World Tourism Alliance

November 27, 2023 | Beijing
A strategic collaboration to promote sustainable and inclusive development of the tourism industry
This version has been translated from Simplified Chinese to English. The original press release was issued in Simplified Chinese here.


Mastercard and the Research Institute of World Tourism Alliance (WTA) have recently announced a new strategic collaboration at the 2023 annual meeting of WTA. The two sides reached the Strategic Cooperation Agreement to jointly drive the development of the tourism industry, making the commitment to work together to promote the growth of the global tourism industry in a sustainable and inclusive manner.

Liu Shijun, Head of the Research Institute of WTA, said: “Since its establishment, the WTA has developed into an international tourism organization with global influence. Moving forward, the WTA will work with members from both the public and private sectors to enhance tourism recovery around the world and inject new momentum into global economic, social, and cultural development.”

Lim Kok Kee, Senior Vice President, Public Sector, Asia Pacific, Mastercard, said: “Mastercard has always been paying close attention to the development of the global tourism industry and has collaborated closely with numerous partners from both the public and private sectors, this time with the Research Institute of WTA. Our strategic collaboration can support tourism development organizations in more countries and regions to create positive impact to the economy and society in a more sustainable and inclusive manner.”

Under the Strategic Cooperation framework, the two sides will work together to provide support in market research and experience sharing for tourism development boards, destination management organizations, and market participants. Both parties will focus on enhancing tourism development practices, including analytics and digital enablement as well as seamless payments for international travellers. They will also pursue opportunities in sustainable and inclusive tourism and related work with small and medium enterprises.

According to Mastercard’s data, cross-border travel remained strong at 155% of 2019 levels, and cross-border volumes increased over 20% year-on-year, reflecting resilient consumer spending and strong cross-border volume growth [1]. In China, the eight-day Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday, dubbed the “Golden Week,” saw 11.818 million inbound and outbound passenger trips this year, surging by about 2.9 times compared with last year[2].

Against this backdrop, Mastercard continues to work proactively with governments and partners to provide convenient payment services for international tourists. In the second quarter of this year, Mastercard announced partnerships to enable international travellers to easily link any Mastercard credit or debit card to both Alipay and WeChat Pay digital wallets and be able to pay as a local.

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[1] Mastercard 2023 Q3 Financial Results

[2] China's National Immigration Administration

About the Research Institute of World Tourism Alliance

Research Institute of World Tourism Alliance is the research department of World Tourism Alliance. World Tourism Alliance (hereinafter referred to as WTA) is a non-governmental, non-profit, world tourism organization headquartered in China, committed to promoting peace, development and poverty alleviation through responsible tourism. With its vision and mission of "Better Tourism, Better Life, Better World", it provides professional services to 236 members in 41 countries and regions on five continents.

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.