Helsinki, airport, Chinese, China, routes, service, social media, hot water, alipay, unionpay, guides, language, help, wechat, youku, gosaimaa, Lakes, kittila, Rovaniemi, Ivalo, tourism, travel, ramen, Finavia
#LIFEINHEL social media campaign / Finavia

Finnish airports ease travel for Chinese tourists

The airport operator Finavia is jazzing up terminals and adding services that will make Chinese feel more at home.

Due to the ever-increasing number of Chinese visitors flocking to different parts of Finland, airport operator Finavia is improving the travel process with better services.

Besides Helsinki, growing numbers are opting to see Lapland or the country’s lakes region as part of their Europe travel plans. There, the customer experience is being improved at Finavia’s 21 airports.

In particular, Finavia is focussing on its six airports in Lapland. With its 2018-19 investments in Rovaniemi, home of Santa Claus, the terminal will grow by 75% with “more convenient facilities and services for passengers in order continue to fulfil the promise of smooth travelling”, the operator says.

The airports in Kittilä and Ivalo, two other increasingly popular locations in Lapland, will also see their airports upgraded.

Part of the improvements in Kittilä will be accomplished by this Christmas season when the expansion of the terminal for departing passengers is opened. In Ivalo, more spacious facilities will be opened by winter 2019.

Finland’s south-eastern lake-land is luring more Chinese too. Around Lake Saimaa, numerous services are prepared for increasing the number of Chinese visitors.

The region’s tourism promotion company goSaimaa has concluded a deal with the Chinese digital and social media giant Tencent to create a “mini-program” called Lake Saimaa, Lakeland Finland for WeChat, to introduce the region to the Chinese market. Helsinki singed a similar agreement earlier this year.

Finavia also features the area from time to time on Helsinki Airport’s WeChat, Weibo and Youku accounts.

Ramen noodles
At Helsinki Airport itself, information signs are in Chinese and there are Chinese-speaking staff and a mobile e-translation service used in the tax-free shops and special info stations for Chinese visitors.

It is possible to pay with UnionPay and Alipay in most of the shops and there are hot water machines throughout the terminal. Information about airport services in Chinese can be found on Weibo, WeChat and Youku.

Next year, HEL will have the first Japanese-style Ajisen Ramen restaurant in northern Europe, which Finavia says will also cater to the tastes of Chinese visitors.

There are 38 flights from China to Helsinki each week, connections including Chongqing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Xian and Nanjing. All are flown by Finnair, which started flights to Beijing over 30 years ago.

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