Costa Cruises of Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest leisure travel company, today(30th August) announced the launch of a new WeChat Mini Program onboard Costa Asia’s fleet. With WeChat, China’s leading social mobile applications, Chinese guests will be able to enjoy hassle-free mobile payment and enhanced onboard experiences starting with Costa Atlantica on September 2.
WeChat is an integrated lifestyle-changing platform for instant messaging, commerce and payment services from Tencent, the world 8th largest public company with more than 400 billion market value. As of Q2’17, there are over 963 million monthly active users on WeChat/Weixin. Costa Cruises launched the first Mini Program to book and pay for a cruise itinerary on the WeChat platform on August 8. Mini Program is the innovative feature that allows WeChat users to instantly open and access to services inside WeChat without having to download the full mobile app, thus giving users faster and better user experience. The latest announcement features an enhancement of the WeChat mini program to also include onboard entertainment booking and payment, among other functions.
With WeChat guests will be able to browse and book specialty restaurants, spa, duty free shopping and other onboard services through the free intranet services and guests can even pay without needing to subscribe to onboard internet services.
“As a pioneer in the Chinese cruise industry, Costa Cruises constantly innovates to enhance the guest experience,” said Mario Zanetti, president of Costa Group Asia. “With China being one of the world’s leaders in mobile and digital advancements, we see great potential in leveraging WeChat’s leading platform and technologies to not only facilitate hassle-free payment, but also provide a more immersive and digitized onboard experience for our guests.”
As the brand that brought cruising to China in 2006 and the leader in the Chinese cruise market today, Costa Cruises operated all year round in China and has provided over 2 million guests with differentiated products featured “Italy at Sea” in China through four ships based across North, East and South China. Costa Cruises will continue to drive forward developing a healthy eco-system in the Chinese cruise industry.