Transport Airports

Chinese-language shopping concierge the new new thing at international airports

Excerpt from Reuters

Nov 29, 2012 7:58 am

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And why not, if that’s the fastest growing and biggest customer base in the coming years. Spending on building Chinese-language and culture-related services may be the cheapest and best investment airports may ever make.

— Rafat Ali

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Frankfurt airport’s new personal shopper service is just one example of how leisure and travel firms in crisis-stricken Europe are trying to tap the seemingly inexhaustible spending power of Chinese tourists.

Mandarin-speaking personal shopper Wasim Hussein, 43, (R) says goodbye to Benny from China, in front of a Duty Free store at the Fraport airport in Frankfurt Nov 14, 2012. – Reuters

In the third quarter alone, tax-free shopping by Chinese citizens leapt 58 percent, data from tourist shopping specialist Global Blue show, and in August they accounted for almost 30 percent of all global tax-free sales.

While catering for foreign travellers can be expensive, the rewards of attracting Chinese shoppers into your stores are huge. The Chinese Tourism Academy estimates Chinese travellers spend on average around $1,000 on shopping when abroad.

The idea of a dedicated advice service for Chinese customers was proposed by employees at the airport’s operator, Fraport, after cultural barriers became evident among the rows of expensive European lotions and potions.

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