Airports across the globe have reacted to rapidly rising passenger numbers from Mainland China by introducing a range of innovative new services just for Chinese travellers.
In Europe, Paris CDG recently joined forces with the Chinese Internet company, Tencent, to trial the Weixin mobile phone app, which it used to communicate and interact with Chinese travellers over the Chinese New Year period.
As a result, all app users received a welcome message and a greeting card wishing them a happy year of the Fire Rooster upon arrival at CDG, and subsequently access to a host of information and services via the airport’s official account on Weixin.
And from the end of the first quarter of 2017, with the assistance of telecoms operator and Groupe ADP subsidiary HubOne, the airport says Chinese passengers will be given a simple way of accessing the airport’s free Wi-Fi using Weixin.
Elsewhere in Europe, Frankfurt Airport has its own team of Mandarin-speaking ‘personal shoppers’ dedicated to assisting Chinese passengers with their airport shopping.
Nearer to home for most Chinese, Sydney Airport has implemented a range of initiatives to welcome Chinese passengers, including Mandarin speaking ‘airport ambassadors’, signage and information available in simplified Chinese in addition to supporting events such as Lunar New Year, and appropriate retail, food and beverage offerings.
While Brisbane Airport recently introduced multi-lingual digital menus in its International Terminal to make ordering food at its F&B outlets easier for its Asian visitors.
Toby Innes, Brisbane Airport Corporation’s head of retail and commercial, said: “In 2015, we welcomed more than five million passengers through the International Terminal. This initiative is aimed at breaking down language barriers with passengers who might have difficulty with English menus.”
Finally, the prize for the most impressive Chinese New Year celebrations outside of China this year arguably goes to Dubai International, which included a traditional Dragon Dance (pictured above) among its offerings.