Point of entry to the South of France, Monaco and Italy, Nice Côte d’Azur airport facilitates travel for its Chinese passengers
In 2015 Nice Côte d’Azur airport welcomed 130,000 Chinese passengers. This figure has grown six-fold in 10 years and the two-digit annual growth continues to accelerate.
The natural point of entry to visit three countries in one trip (France, Monaco and Italy), Nice Côte d’Azur airport must make the best “first impression” on those arriving at the French Riviera. With that in mind, ten points for improvement have been identified to facilitate the arrival and departure of Chinese passengers at Nice Côte d’Azur airport.
Thus, Chinese passengers now have a dedicated website on connecting to the free airport WiFi, also available in Mandarin. This information website (directly available via the airport website or at the URL http://cn.nice.aeroport.fr) allows them to view on their smartphone, tablet or computer, “the basics” for arrival at and departure from the airport (real-time flight information, means of transport, inside airport map via Google Indoor, tax refund information, links to tourist sites, etc.).
It also allows them to purchase Nice Côte d’Azur airport services online from China through a Paypal payment module compatible with the Union Pay card (VIP welcome, fast-track lane, premium lounge access).
On reaching the airport, WiFi connection is now offered in Mandarin.
And a dedicated welcome stand is available in each terminal. While waiting for delivery of their bags, Chinese passengers can view, and download to their smartphones, practical tips and tourist information via an interactive terminal operating exclusively in Mandarin.
Nice Côte d’Azur airport also offers for free download the electronic tourist guide Petit Futé Cote d’Azur 2016 in Mandarin, together with a concierge service in Mandarin downloadable to smartphone (Wiidi, tested this summer). This application, downloaded via a QR code on the interactive terminal, is a hybrid personal assistant (artificial intelligence + concierge service) that can answer the various questions of Chinese visitors. Advice about good places to visit according to their preferences and budget, booking assistance (restaurant, taxi, shows, train or plane tickets), useful information (opening hours of a museum or shop, routes, weather), appointments service (e.g. doctor speaking Chinese), French phrasebook, etc. can all facilitate their trip and visit to the Côte d’Azur.
In addition, for departures, the tax refund process has been simplified in order to streamline Customs inspections and refund at exchange offices (giving arrivals a “Refund tips” envelope, better signposting, assistance at peak hours). Already available for some time now, most Nice Côte d’Azur airport shops today accept payment with the Union Pay card. Other attentions, very meaningful for this clientele, have been deployed in departure lounges, such as the availability of Chinese noodles, a link to the China Daily website on shared tablets, and Côte Magazine in Chinese.
For Dominique Thillaud, Chairman of the Board of Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur, “Nice Côte d’Azur airport is a point of entry, at a human scale, into France and the surrounding countries (Monaco, Italy, Spain, Switzerland). To improve our welcome to Chinese visitors visiting Europe for the first time, we considered it essential to improve our communication and streamline their route through the airport. Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is now ready to welcome Chinese passengers travelling direct flights to and from China.”