RUSSIA. Pulkovo Airport has received the Chinese Academy of Tourism’s Welcome Chinese Certification.

The airport is the first in Russia to achieve the certification which states the quality of international hospitality for Chinese tourists. The recognition is supported by the Chinese Academy of Tourism, a structural subdivision of the Chinese National Tourism Office.

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Pulkovo Airport is Russia’s first to receive the Welcome Chinese Certification

The certification is awarded only to facilities which have introduced special services for Chinese tourists. The services must meet the standards of quality recommended by the tourism authorities in the People’s Republic of China.

Due to increased traffic between destinations in China and St. Petersburg, Pulkovo International’s main operator Northern Capital Gateway Company (NCG) has adapted the infrastructure and services at the airport to make Pulkovo more convenient and understandable for Chinese passengers.

Flight information boards, passenger leaflets, the terminal map, the airport’s website and menus have all been translated into Mandarin and announcements of flights to Moscow and China are dubbed in Chinese.

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Flight information boards at Pulkovo Airport have been translated into Mandarin

Food service and retail outlets accept the China UnionPay cards, duty free shops employ Chinese-speaking staff and waiting areas provide access to free hot water.

NCG Chief Commercial Officer Evgeny Ilyin said: “In the first 11 months of 2016, direct passenger traffic between Pulkovo and various destinations in China has increased by +85% to 166,000 people. Yet there’s considerable growth potential for us in China.

“More than 200,000 passengers arriving from China come to St. Petersburg from flights with a layover elsewhere. Additionally, most tourists arriving from the PRC to Moscow as part of visa-free groups spend about 70% of their time in Russia in St. Petersburg.

“We are confident that participating in the Welcome Chinese programme will allow us to improve the recognition of Pulkovo Airport and Russia’s Northern Capital on the Chinese tourism market. It will also serve as an additional stimulus for increased inbound passenger traffic from the PRC to St. Petersburg,” Ilyin concluded.

Hainan Airlines St Petersburg Office General Manager Meng Chen added: “Having become part of the Welcome Chinese project, Pulkovo has once again confirmed the high quality of its services for Chinese air passengers. This has considerable significance for us, since the work of the airline and the airport ultimately focuses on providing maximum comfort for the passenger en route to his or her destination.”

China Eastern Airlines Moscow Office Head Lee Jizhi added: “The awarding of the Welcome Chinese Certification to Pulkovo testifies to the fact that the airport has created the best conditions for the comfortable stay of Chinese tourists among all Russian airports.”

The Welcome Chinese certification programme was launched in 2013 and is awarded to hotels, shopping and transport facilities and companies involved in passenger transportation.

Pulkovo Airport offers three scheduled flights to destinations in China: Beijing (with Hainan Airlines); Ürümqi (China Southern Airlines) and Shanghai (China Eastern Airlines). In 2016, the airport also provided charter flights to Macau, Taipei and Beijing, operated by Russian airlines.