Finavia invests in digital services for Chinese travellers

Helsinki Airport is further enhancing the experience of Chinese customers by enabling AliPay. The first commercial operators at the airport adopted the Chinese AliPay mobile payment application in December 2016. Indeed, Helsinki is among the first European airports to introduce AliPay, which is part of world’s largest online trading company Alibaba. AliPay is China’s leading mobile payment giant and has approximately 400 million users.

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Chinese travellers are a high priority for Finavia, and the number is expected to continue increasing for both transfer connections and overnight stays in Finland. Finavia has responded with Chinese-speaking service guides at Helsinki Airport and by adding signs in Chinese.

“Chinese passengers are the most rapidly-growing customer group at Helsinki Airport, and the group that use the most money. We work hard to offer them the best possible service experience. Familiar and easy payment options increase the feeling of smooth and safe travel for Chinese passengers,” says Finavia’s Elena Stenholm, Director of Commercial Services at Helsinki Airport. “As far as we know, the only other airports accepting AliPay are Munich and Frankfurt. Seven commercial service points have now adopted it at Helsinki Airport, and many others are interested. China UnionPay is already available at most airport outlets.”

AliPay can now be used to pay at the airport’s Iittala, M-Box, Finspiration, Lindroos and Moomin outlets. Finavia intends to have all commercial operators accepting AliPay.

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Finavia’s Elena Stenholm, Director of Commercial Services at Helsinki Airport: “Chinese passengers are the most rapidly-growing customer group at Helsinki Airport, and the group that use the most money. We work hard to offer them the best possible service experience. Familiar and easy payment options increase the feeling of smooth and safe travel for Chinese passengers.”

“We work in close cooperation with our commercial partners to develop the customer experience. AliPay has been received very well, and we encourage businesses to enable it. If the biggest commercial operators at the airport come along, the amount of outlets accepting AliPay will increase tenfold at once,” Stenholm explains.

Chinese travellers are a high priority for Finavia, and the number is expected to continue increasing for both transfer connections and overnight stays in Finland. Lapland is a particular attraction for Chinese tourists. Alibaba’s travel service provider AliTrip plans to take 50,000 Chinese tourists to Rovaniemi during 2017.

Finavia has responded with Chinese-speaking service guides at Helsinki Airport and by adding signs in Chinese. In autumn 2016, a staff exchange programme between Finavia and Beijing Airport helped increase knowledge of the Chinese service culture and the needs of Chinese travellers.

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Lapland is a particular attraction for Chinese tourists. Alibaba’s travel service provider AliTrip plans to take 50,000 Chinese tourists to Rovaniemi during 2017.

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Learn more about innovative airport commercial developments at the 26th Airport Commercial & Retail Conference & Exhibition, hosted by Aéroport Nice Côte d’Azur and taking place on 3-5 April 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée. The event brings together around 400 key industry stakeholders, representing airports, retailers, brands, and consultants. Meanwhile, the exhibition is a showcasing platform and networking opportunity for industry suppliers, covering the broad spectrum of commercial activities, including retailers, brands, F&B, parking, car rental, currency exchange, and digital innovation.

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