The overwhelming majority of travelers and tourists visiting Singapore these days are coming from China, to the tune of some 2.7 million visitors in 2017 alone – with that number expected to double (or more) by the time 2020 rolls around.

The relationships that Singapore and China enjoy today are incredibly strong and robust, and run the gamut from capital investments into one another’s real estate markets to joint funding of significant public works projects and more.

To say that Singapore is a friendly neighbor to China would be a significant understatement, which is why it is so obvious that the people of Singapore responsible for the tourism industry would be so serious about making the lives of Chinese tourists as easy as possible.

According to new reports coming out of the Singapore Tourism Board, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been established between the government of Singapore and the digital payment service “AliPay”, one of the most popular forms of paperless payment that the Chinese have really embraced over the last few years.

Considered to be the world’s largest online and mobile payment platform and growing at an exponential rate already, the Singapore Tourism Board is hoping to partner with AliPay is an effort to expand operations throughout Singapore while also capitalizing on the data and information that both organizations are able to collect through this collaboration.

Local tourism throughout Singapore is expected to enjoy a significant bump thanks to this new initiative, and the people responsible for this mobile and online payment service are also expected to be able to see a considerable spike in business – not only from Chinese travelers using this service in Singapore, but from Singapore-based customers that may not have really had reason or opportunity to leverage these services in the past.

Both organizations are looking for new ways to collaborate with one another to better help understand and target both Chinese consumers and Singapore consumers while making the services as relevant and as mutually beneficial as possible. Both groups have had significant meetings with one another over the past year to make this new plan a reality, and expansion of the AliPay solution into Singapore is expected to begin happening almost immediately.

Singapore already has a reasonable infrastructure in place to support this mobile payment solution, as the first instances of AliPay began to be utilized in 2015 throughout Singapore, but they haven’t rolled out the “welcome mat” quite the way they are expecting to in 2017 before.

Already we are seeing commitments by more than 5000 Singapore merchants to rollout this new mobile payment solution by the end of 2017 (just a few short months away), and 80% of taxis throughout Singapore have already started to take advantage of this service as well.

Singapore is investing heavily in the partnership that they share with China right now, appreciating and understanding just how significantly Chinese tourism contributes to the nation’s prosperity and Singapore’s overall bottom line. Chinese tourism to Singapore is up 15% in 2017 compared to 2016 alone, and this number is expected to jump considerably moving forward!