In alliance with the Chinese Embassy in Rome, last week, the Leonardo da-Vinci Fiumicino airport opened its first Mandarin-language information desk. The addition is in response to a stunning 30-percent year-on-year increase in tourist visas issued by the Italian embassy in China in the first six months of the year, according to state-run media Xinhua.
The service counter opened on October 26 in Terminal 3 to aid Europe’s third most popular airport for Chinese arrivals. In 2017, 1.5 million Chinese tourists visited Italy, 750,000 of whom passed through the airport in Rome. There are also approximately 20,000 Chinese students studying in the country along with another 300,000 overseas Chinese residents, reported Xinhua.
Italy welcomed 1.5 million Chinese tourists last year, and 750,000 of them passed through Leonardo da-Vinci Fiumicino airport
Chinese Ambassador to Italy Li Ruiyu said at the opening ceremony that the travel information was created by the Chinese embassy in Rome. The guide includes information on safety, appropriate behavior, and regulations on remaining in the country legally. In addition, the embassy has launched a WeChat account called Yilv yangguang (意旅阳光). The WeChat app will also provide travelers with access to more information via QR codes, although it is unclear if QR codes will be placed around the city or only at the airport.
The airport’s website already had a Chinese-language option along with an official WeChat account, and it even offers free personal shopper services in Mandarin. (Some pages on the Chinese-language version of the website are not currently functioning, however.)
The airport recently received the highest traveler satisfaction rating among airports in Western nations, according to Airports Council International, an association that measures the perceived quality of more than 300 airports worldwide based on passenger interviews.
The Chinese embassy in Italy has also launched an official WeChat account to provide Chinese citizens with tourist information around the country
Xinhua also noted in its report that Italian media has recently commented on the improved behavior of Chinese tourists in the country, which had previously been a major complaint among locals.