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Bologna airport ready to welcome Chinese visitors

By Zhou Wenting | | Updated: 2018-05-17 20:04
Duomo's cathedral and Porta Nuova's financial district are seen in Milan, Italy, May 16, 2018. [Photo/VCG]

Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport, the second airport in Italy to have obtained official certification from Welcome Chinese, a service standard for Chinese tourists established by the China Tourism Academy, was ready to offer a warm welcome to Chinese visitors, a senior official of the airport said Thursday during a press briefing in Shanghai.

“Meeting the criteria of the certification means that we provide Chinese-friendly services, including signs in Chinese, staff fluent in Chinese, China UnionPay cards accepted, Chinese menus and hot water available to cater to Chinese stomachs,” said Antonello Bonolis, the aviation business and corporate communication director for the airport.

The airport is an important hub in central and northern Italy with an expected traffic of 9 million passengers in 2018 that guarantees flights to more than 100 destinations in Italy and worldwide.

“Reaching Bologna from China will allow Chinese tourists to travel more easily within Italy and reach other destinations, such as Florence, Venice, Milan and Rome. Moreover, starting from March 2019, Bologna airport will only be seven minutes away from Bologna Central Station thanks to a high-speed suspended monorail train,” Bonolis said.

So far there are no direct flights from China to Bologna, known as Italy’s motor valley for Ducati, Lamborghini and Ferrari factories and museums, but authorities of the two countries will discuss the issue this or next year to facilitate the process of making direct flights possible, Bonolis said.

“There will be chartered flights from Taiyuan, Shanxi province, and Shenyang, Liaoning province, in July,” he said.

Jacopo Sertoli, Welcome Chinese CEO, said Bologna airport is the fourth European airport to gain their certification.

“It represents a big step forward toward further development of Chinese tourism in the city of Bologna and in the Emilia Romagna region, making Chinese travelers aware of the excellent business potentialities that characterize the territory,” Sertoli said.

“This is particularly meaningful especially when this year marks the EU-China Tourism Year,” he added.

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