A warm welcome for Chinese passengers flying to Italy

by silvia.spessato

categories Destinations Italy

tags hospitality 


In order to better welcome Mandarin-speaking tourists, the international airport of Malpensa in Northern Italy has boosted its ties with China by launching the “Chinese Friendly Airport” program. Chinese tourism to Italy is booming, rising 104% between 2008 and 2012, while domestic tourism has recently been surpassed by the inflow of foreign visitors, 50,1% and 50,4% respectively. One million Chinese citizens are expected to land in Milan for Expo 2015 (May 1 to Oct. 31, 2015). SEA, the firm that runs Milan’s hubs of Malpensa and Linate, stated that contacts are underway with flight companies such as China Eastern, China Southern and Hainan Airlines to intensify the frequency of flights to and from China. Currently, Air China and Cathay Pacific operate between Milan Malpensa and Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. The Chief Operating Officer of SEA, Giulio De Metrio, said that "Milan Malpensa is being completely renovated in view of the Milan Expo and building a bridge with China is fundamental for us." Main Chinese destinations received 570,000 passengers in 2013, or 750,000 when connecting flights are considered; this is a 179% rise from the 260,000 passengers of 2008. The new “Chinese Friendly Airport” program provides for the Chinese translation of the hub’s signage, a dedicated discount shopping card, Mandarin-speaking “shopping helpers”, collaboration with specialized tour operators and the adaptation of the airport’s app for smartphone. The initiative was carried out after the airport’s management organized a traditional Chinese lion dance at Malpensa on the occasion of the lunar New Year as a display of friendship and interest towards the Asian giant. De Metrio pointed out that Malpensa strives to become "the favored airport in Europe for Chinese passengers who come to visit Italy." In the meantime, connections between Milan and Shanghai rose from five to seven flights a week, while flights to Beijing rose from three to five.

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Commented by Bill Frankish, 29.08.2017

We at the Candlewood Suites Calgary Airport North, closely located to the Calgary airport YYC, have been certified by the China Tourism Academy as having reached the JADE STANDARD of "Welcome Chinese" Certification. As such we greet each guest with a special Welcome envelope with Chinese information on our extended stay hotel. Guests receive slippers, tea, and have access to kettles and rice cookers at no charge. Some items are available in our little convenience store called The Cupboard, and there is a Chinese Super Market about 2 kilometers away which has a full selection of food items, commonly found in China, including live fish. Also at the same shopping area, an authentic Chinese Restaurant called The T. Pot , China Bistro From our location we have easy access to main highways to take you to Banff National Park, or the Royal Tyrrell Museum, an excellent Dinosaur museum. Candlewood Suites is an excellent location with cooking facilities which provides a great home base as you travel to various attractions in the area.