By Doug Newhouse |
Chinese and Russian interpreters are being made instantly available on internet-linked tablets at the Finnish airports of Helsinki and Rovaniemi to help passengers and service providers defeat language barriers when it comes to ordering goods and services.
Finnish airport operator Finavia reports that it is now testing the instant new ‘virtual interpreting service’ from Tulka, a Finnish mobile interpreting service in a series of pilot runs at Helsinki and Rovaniemi – the ‘official airport of Santa Claus’.
CONSIDERABLE INTEREST AMONGST RETAILERS
There has also been considerable initial interest in using the service if it proves to work well with several companies lining up to use it. Service providers currently participating include World Duty Free Helsinki, World of Delights Helsinki, Budget-Avis, Marimekko, Iittala, Vantaa Taxi and the Finavia Customer Service desks at both Helsinki and Rovaniemi airports.
The new system will feature several languages, but concentrate mainly on Chinese and Russian customers who also happen o be amongst the very best spenders.
Finavia management – which operates 21 airports in total – says that its aim at Helsinki and Rovaniemi is to provide customers with innovative world-class services.
INTERPRETER CONTACT ‘IN SECONDS’
As such, it says the Tulka system enables it to contact a professional interpreter within seconds – both in the form of sound and image – according to Helsinki Airport Finavia’s Vice President Heikki Koski.
The airport added: “The aim of this joint project is to find out the benefits of interpretation between passengers and service providers at airports. One of the key metrics analysed in the pilot is the effect of the customer experience on customer numbers and sales volumes.
“The pilot launched in July and will continue until the end of 2017. Decisions on whether to continue the service will be made after the pilot.”
HELSINKI PROJECTING 20M PAX BY 2020
Helsinki Airport handled more than 17m passengers in 2016 and is projecting ‘up to 20m’ by 2020.
At the same time, the number of Chinese and Russian travellers has increased, with the airport now deploying increasing resources to providing information and services in Chinese and Russian – in addition to services in Finnish, Swedish and English.
Finavia currently operates 21 Finnish airports, have launched a pilot project at Helsinki Airport and in Rovaniemi.