The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has partnered with Kenya’s Stanbic Bank in a bid to attract Chinese tourists visiting the East African nation.
The two organisations have launched a credit card that will allow Chinese visitors to pay for hotels and other services while visiting Kenya.
The launch comes at a time when more than 50,000 Chinese visitors came to Kenya in 2017. ICBC expects the number to rise to 60,000 in 2018.
Kenya has been strengthening its ties with China for over a decade now. In fact, China has been listed among the investors working on the East African Nation’s Big Four development agenda, an ambitious government project that will improve the livelihoods of millions of Kenyans.
China is among Kenya’s top-five tourism source markets, recent statistics from the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) have shown.
The country accounted for 5.5% of Kenya’s visitor traffic in 2017. The Kenya Tourism Board now projects that visitors from China will continue growing to become top source market by the year 2020.
Following the partnership announcement, ICBC Africa CEO, Gang Sun, said the adoption of Chinese payment options such as Union Pay and WeChat by Kenyan tour operators could also help increase the flow of tourists.
“More and more Chinese choose to travel abroad for their vacations,” Sun said while launching the card in Nairobi, Kenya’ capital city.
He noted that Chinese tourists spend an average of $1,250 per person during their visits.
ICBC, which owns a stake in Stanbic Kenya’s parent company, South Africa’s Standard Bank, saw its number of credit card customers increase to 88.59 million in 2017. The firm says it is now China’s largest domestic credit card issuing bank and hopes to keep its growth trajectory steady following the new deal with Stanbic Bank.