Building on the various actions already carried out over the last two years to provide an improved welcome for Chinese tourists visiting the French Riviera, Nice Côte d’Azur airport is launching a hotline to strengthen its presence on the WeChat network. This new tool should help to attract passengers from China and meet their needs when they arrive in Nice.
Working to make its territory more attractive, Nice Côte d’Azur airport has been present on the Chinese social network WeChat for two years. Over a billion user accounts are active monthly on the network. Now, the airport is equipping itself with a hotline to provide almost real-time answers to questions from Chinese travellers interested in the destination or who have already arrived in the French Riviera.
This important tool in promoting the Territory in China will be managed jointly by the airport teams and an external company, Europass, specialising in the management of social networks. The hotline will be able to provide almost real-time answers to 80% of questions asked, with a slight delay in answering most other questions, and otherwise within a maximum of 48 hours.
This news service enriches the range of tools available on the platform, which is already present on the social network Weibo. Upon arriving in Nice and as soon as their smartphone has detected the airport’s high-speed wireless network, Chinese tourists will have access to a site in Mandarin, giving them the essential information: flight times, transport options to get to the city centre, duty-free procedures, and tourist sites. There is also a concierge application providing answers to visitors’ different questions. In the lounges, they can get Chinese noodles and use tablets connected to China Daily. In the duty free shops, payment via the WeChat Pay application has been possible since July. Finally, there are welcome stands with interactive facilities in each terminal, where there is now signage in Mandarin, as a further improvement to hospitality.
“Nice Côte d’Azur airport is a people-friendly way into France and the surrounding countries (Monaco, Italy, Spain, Switzerland). To provide a better welcome for our Chinese visitors arriving in Europe for the first time, we considered it essential to improve our communication and make their journey through the airport as smooth as possible. Nice Côte d’Azur is now ready to welcome Chinese passengers from a direct connection with China”, explains Dominique Thillaud, CEO of Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur.
Already, in 2017, the airport recorded 17% growth in the number of Chinese passengers welcomed (73,000 passengers). There is great development potential: the regional tourism committee estimates the number of Chinese tourists who come to the Côte d’Azur via the airport at 25%.
In Nice, numbers of Chinese tourists are growing by 15% to 20% per year, with a record 110,000 stays in 2017, putting China in eighth place among countries sending travellers to the Côte d’Azur. This trend looks set to continue and grow, as relationships between the Riviera and China become closer. For example, Nice Carnival was hosted by Ningbo near Shanghai, where from 29 September to 3 October 2018, the carnival brought its rhythms and flower parade to 7.5 million inhabitants.
Finally, the Côte d’Azur gets a huge boost to its attractiveness thanks to actor Liu Ye, who is a true icon in China and whose wife is from Nice. He is an ambassador for tourism in the Côte d’Azur, and is always keen to praise its assets.