Chinese embassy in Finland releases animation videos offering valuable traveling tips
Chinese embassy in Finland released a series of animation videos on Wednesday as a preventive protection for the increasing number of Chinese travelers to Finland.
Comprising four episodes -- "Arriving at the Airport", "A Glimpse into Finland", "Expanding Your Understanding" and "Endless Aftertastes", each of the video lasts five or six minutes, and provides general knowledge about Finnish formalities, regulations, customs and habits, local emergency calls and consular help numbers.
Statistics showed that Chinese travelers spent nearly 300,000 overnights in Finland in the first three quarters of 2017, almost 40 percent more than the same period last year. The growth was the highest among all foreigners visiting Finland.
Meanwhile, Chinese tourists have encountered some problems in the Nordic country, which made the Chinese diplomats thinking of producing a digital guide book to provide necessary information before they get into trouble, said Chinese Ambassador to Finland Chen Li.
"Of course we are not a tourist agency and we don't want to compete with Lonely Planet," said Chen, "but we want to make sure the Chinese don't feel lonely during their journeys in Finland."
According to the embassy, the video series was already ready for watching and downloading at its official website and its Wechat account, and it would also be distributed by VisitFinland, Finnair and Finavia, all of which are government owned operators in Finland.
Paavo Virkkunen, head of VisitFinland, said he was happy with the growing trend of Chinese tourists coming to Finland. He said he has spotted a structural change in the market as Chinese tourists used to travel in a group, but now individual tourists were growing very rapidly.
"When people travel with groups, it is easier to provide the information regarding the travel destination, but for individual travelers it is a big challenge," said Virkkunen. "Therefore the initiative of providing information for individual travelers via video is very, very good," he added.
Virkkunen noted that the smart phone usage by Chinese has developed to an extent that the instant access to digital information becomes more valuable and necessary.
The first episode of the video series "Arriving at the Airport" had already been aired for one month on board Finnair flights from China to Finland, said Piia Karhu, Senior Vice President in charge of Customer Experience of Finnair. She said the feedback from customers was great.
Questions regarding shopping, staying in a hotel and transportation are "typically asked by our customers", said Karhu, adding that these questions are answered by the video before the travelers arrive in Finland. She told
Xinhua that it is a very unique practice according to Finnair's experience, as no other partners of Finnair in the world has done this before.
The travelling tips given by the videos were mostly based on true lessons learned by the Chinese tourists in the past few years, sources told Xinhua.
For example, a group of Chinese tourists were said to be in dispute with local tour guides in northern Finland about the failure to see northern lights last year. Based on the incident, the videos tell viewers that seeing northern lights is not a sure thing and "any agency promising the tourists can see the aurora 100 percent for sure is definitely a liar."
The full edition video series will be aired on in-flight entertainment video players of Finnair flights by February 2018, when the Chinese celebrate the week-long Spring Festival, the country's most important festival for family reunion, said the embassy.