CHICAGO, Nov. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Airline and Travel Payment Summit -- UATP announced today that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Alipay, China's leading third-party online payment solution, to enable the U.S. travel industry to offer Chinese consumers a convenient and trusted way to book and pay for overseas travel. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081118/NETU022LOGO ) With minimal change to their existing backend systems, airlines, hotels and other travel enterprises can now easily connect to the more than 800 million Chinese account holders on the Alipay platform via the UATP Network. These consumers are extremely comfortable with online purchasing and enthusiastic about high-quality international products and overseas travel. China's increasingly affluent middle- and upper-class consumers made 83 million outbound trips in 2012. China has been the world's fastest-growing tourism source market for the past decade and it is now also the world's top tourism spender. Chinese travelers spent a record US$102 billion in 2012 to surpass the U.S. and Germany, both with spending close to $84 billion. "After years as the most widely used online payment platform in China, Alipay is thrilled to join forces with UATP in this milestone collaboration. We are excited to help U.S. businesses satisfy eager Chinese consumers," said Jingming Li, vice president and chief architect of Alipay International. "Alipay is dedicated to meeting the needs of China's vast and growing pool of keen overseas travelers by making it easier for them to pay for air tickets, book hotels, rent cars and make other travel-related purchases online from the world's leading airlines and accredited travel agencies." "We look forward to partnering with Alipay and working with them in this mutually beneficial opportunity," said Ralph Kaiser, president and CEO, UATP. "We see further growth in outbound travel as inevitable for China. Matching the strength of the UATP Network with Alipay's proven success, we are confident that we can bring the best that both companies have to offer to this booming market." Launched in 2004, Alipay is a cross-border payment solution that provides an easy and secure platform to make and receive payment over the Internet. Alipay partners with more than 180 financial institutions and supports transactions in 15 foreign currencies. It had more than 800 million registered accounts as of December 2012. UATP is a comprehensive payment solution that airlines offer to reduce the high cost of credit card use and provide vital data for accurate travel management. UATP's corporate program and data tools, DataStream and DataMine, supply Level III Data for all air and rail travel, and folio-level data for hotel stays.