Well-off Chinese business or leisure travellers to Europe are very much sought after these days. For this reason, Copenhagen Airport has hired Chinese-speaking guides and launched a website in Chinese with wayfinding. And more is on the way to make Chinese travellers feel welcome in Denmark.
“Our many interviews with Chinese travellers show, maybe somewhat surprisingly, that Chinese travellers do not only shop famous brands; they are also very interested in our delicious Danish chocolate,” said Carsten Nørland, VP, Sales and Marketing for Copenhagen Airport.
Wayfinding in Chinese
“It is important for us to know our customers – also the Chinese. The interviews show that many Chinese travellers have difficulty finding their way at the airport, so we have hired 17 guides so far who can help our Chinese guests find their way at the airport and give them extraordinary service in their own language,” said Carsten Nørland.
And more help is on the way. This week, Copenhagen Airport launches a Chinese-language version of its website, http://360.cph.dk/ , which travellers can use to plan their way through the airport and to find their gate and the restaurants and shops they may want to visit.
“We are also evaluating whether it’s time to have a Chinese version of our app, which is so popular it’s been downloaded more than 460,000 times so far,” said Carsten Nørland.
On Wednesday and Thursday, 24-25 April, the number of Chinese travellers at Copenhagen Airport will be higher than usual because the hundreds of participants in the Copenhagen Fur auctions will be travelling back to China. For this reason, Copenhagen Airport has speeded up its activities to cater to Chinese travellers. Cultural expert Hanna Leanderdal of Danish consulting firm Kinakonsulenten states that it is “a very good idea” to make an extra effort to assist Chinese travellers.
“Language is one of the greatest barriers facing these travellers, so it is an excellent idea to provide guides to make Chinese travellers feel more welcome. It should also be remembered that Chinese travellers abroad are used to a very high service level, and also expect it abroad,” said Hanna Leanderdal.
The 17 Chinese guides all live in Denmark: some are students, while others, such as 23-year-old Rui Liu, have moved to Denmark with their parents.
“Passengers are very pleased when I help them – so much so that they often ask whether they will see me again,” said Rui Liu. The airport shops also like the Chinese visitors: they generally spend three times as much as average travellers.
“Although Chinese travellers make up only a very small fraction of our passengers, several luxury shops at the airport report that close to half their sales are to Chinese passengers,” said Carsten Nørland.
¦Chinese travellers in Denmark typically spend three times as much as average travellers.
¦Eight out of ten Chinese travellers consider shopping to be an important part of their trip.
¦According to shopping guide website Global Blue, Chinese travellers today account for 25% of airport duty-free sales worldwide.
¦Eighty million Chinese people travel abroad per year, a great majority of them to neighbouring countries in Asia and to Hongkong.
¦Four million Chinese travel to Europe by air each year, more than 50,000 of them via Copenhagen Airport