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Spain's busiest airport works to adapt to increasing Chinese travelers

2019-04-15 11:36

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MADRID, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Handling 57.9 million travelers last year, Madrid's Adolfo Suarez-Barajas Airport, the busiest airport in Spain, is introducing a series of new measures to adapt to the increasing number of Chinese passengers.  

 "It is a question of hospitality and making life easier for everyone who comes to visit us," the airport's commercial director Ana Paniagua explained to Xinhua.    

She said the airport had decided to act to try and offer a "complete experience" to the ever-increasing numbers of Chinese tourists, who are arriving as more direct routes are opened up between China and Spain.  

 According to data published by the Spain Foreign Ministry, 649,000 Chinese tourists visited Spain in 2018 with the Spanish airports' authority AENA confirming that 550,000 of those used the Adolfo Suarez Madrid Barajas airport.    

"We began with the signs," explained Paniagua, adding that the airport had "put up signs in Chinese so that tourists have no problems in finding the correct check-in or confirming the time of their flight."    

Spanish company Henkuai helped with the projects by carrying out all of the necessary translations.    

AENA has also decided to employ specialized personnel to help Chinese travelers pass through the airport security checks with no problems.  

 "It (passing through security) is a complicated issue, so that is why we decided to form a group of people who can help or advise them when necessary," commented Paniagua.       
The airport also provides a service to help travelers with issues connected to shopping. This includes a free personal assistant service to accompany Chinese travelers during the time they spend at Barajas.    

This service is especially useful for the process of helping Chinese tourists claim back sales tax for the products that have bought in Spain.    

The workers in this service all speak perfect Chinese and as well as aiding with tax-related issues, they can also provide help and advice with any last-minute purchases at the airport. Peng Chen forms a part of this team.  

 "Chinese visitors feel a lot happier when someone attends to them in their language, because sometimes they don't speak either English or Spanish and they are very grateful when you can help them find something they really need," he explained to Xinhua.  

 "Not long ago we were named the best airport in southern Europe and we want Chinese tourists to choose us as their entry point into the European Union before then moving on to see other countries," said Paniagua.
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