No one today can deny the importance of the US$ 155.5 billion Chinese outbound travel market (China Tourism Academy). Whether one is on Hong Kong’s famed Tsim Sha Shui shopping district or at the Galleries Lafayette in Paris, it is impossible not to notice the throngs of Chinese tourists buying up the latest Prada handbags or having their selfies taken in front of city landmarks – often to the amusement of locals and fellow tourists alike.
And, when this multitude heads to the payment counter, they typically use their China UnionPay card - the Chinese government-owned payment system that is now rivalling global payment brands like Visa.
This is a story about how Visa’s latest campaign got Chinese travellers to re-consider using Visa by challenging the world’s stereotype of Chinese tourists; and portraying an image that is more true to the global-savvy and sophistication of the new/younger generation who are driving the nation forward.
The “Visa Get Lost Challenge” called on people to travel in a new way: to go beyond the crowded confines of cliché tourism and retail hotspots, and explore the less beaten path of more culturally-authentic experiences hidden within a city -- with nothing but the comforting reassurance of having a card in their pockets that is truly ‘accepted anywhere they want to be.’
This new take on the Chinese traveller captured the aspirations of the new Chinese generation. It generated 9 million views in just 2 week; and propelled Visa to grow 85% faster than total outbound tourism spending. More importantly, it boosted Visa’s brand scores by 23% on a key image attribute China’s young travellers wanted to be more associated with on a personal level – “is globally accepted.”