While a Beijing clothing shop has drawn flak for its hugely offensive “Chinese not admitted” sign, the Italian airport Milan Malpensa was awarded a special award for its efforts towards improving the travel experience of Chinese tourists. Aw, don’t they love those tuhao overseas?
According to official estimates by the airport, the main destinations from and to Milan Malpensa in 2013 were Hong Kong with 228,000 passengers, Shanghai with 223,000 passengers and Beijing with 118,000 passengers, with flights operated by Cathay Pacific and Air China.
The award was conferred at the China Awards charity dinner, which has the goals of improving exchanges between Italian and Chinese entrepreneurs.
“We felt that we had a duty to provide tailor-made services for Chinese passengers,” said Giulio De Metrio, chief operating officer (COO) of the Malpensa Airport management company.
“Chinese-friendly” initiatives at the Milan airport include signage in Chinese throughout the airport, Mandarin-speaking shopping helpers, a smartphone app in Chinese and latest news in Chinese from Xinhua News Agency broadcast on the airport’s monitors.
Milan Malpensa has also introduced a “Luxury Square”, home to the world’s best known luxury brands, which discerning tuhao shoppers are very likely to flock to in droves. The airport will soon launch a website in Chinese and is training personnel to understand China’s culture with the goal to make Chinese passengers “feel at home in Malpensa”. Looks like Malpensa will continue raking in the cash for a long, long time to come.