The iconic television show Game of Thrones knows it: “winter is coming”.
For us Finns, it's often a synonym for short, dark and cold days. For many tourists, again, it’s an exotic, once-in-a-lifetime experience of white snow, magical Nordic lights and romantic sleigh rides.
Lately, Chinese tourists have become especially interested in Finland. The number of Chinese passengers, both transferring and staying in Finland, is also increasing at Helsinki Airport. In fact, they are our fastest-growing nationality: between 2014 and 2015, the amount of Chinese passengers increased by an impressive 50 per cent.
Why is this?
"We have developed, and continue developing, various services especially for our Chinese passengers."
Firstly: we provide the shortest and fastest route between Europe and Asia. You can fly from Beijing to Helsinki in just over seven hours. We also provide excellent further connections to all over the world, including all major European destinations.
Secondly: we provide 25 weekly flights to our five mainland China destinations. The amount is impressive compared to, for example, Copenhagen (14) or Stockholm (9).
Thirdly, last but certainly not least: we have developed, and continue developing, various services especially for our Chinese passengers, such as a Chinese-speaking guide service and customer service staff, Chinese signage and website, and presence on Chinese social media channels.
What is more, we have just launched a unique staff exchange programme with our sister airport in Beijing. Finavia employees worked at Asia’s biggest airport, aiming to learn more about the Chinese service culture and passenger needs, and deploying this knowledge especially at Helsinki and Lapland airports.
Yes, they love Lapland: the number of Chinese passengers at Ivalo Airport increased an astonishing 70 per cent between 2014 and 2015.
"In addition to supporting tourism, our excellent connections make Finland attractive for investments and global companies."
Needless to say, all travellers, whether they are transferring passengers or tourists staying overnight, are greatly important and beneficial for our economy. A successful international airport stimulates Finland’s financial situation and employment rate.
According to the airport association ACI Europe, Helsinki Airport is the leading Nordic airport in transfer connections around the world. In addition to supporting tourism, our excellent connections make Finland attractive for investments and global companies.
If we can exceed our Chinese passengers’ expectations by providing a superb passenger experience, they may fly via Helsinki again, recommend us to their friends, plan their next trip to Finland, or even end up opening an office here.
This is why the power of good service should never be underestimated – it’s often the little things that make all the difference.