Airlines attract travelers with urban exploration offerings
Icelandair’s stopover fare perk has helped make Iceland the popular destination it is today, with tourism increasing to 1.75 million in 2016 from 400,000 in 2006. The success of the prolific program has inspired other airlines to get on board, offering their own unique offerings that encourage urban exploration.
Netherlands-based airline KLM is offering passengers who visit Amsterdam in September a handy gadget: the KLM Care Tag. The smart audio luggage tag automatically provides visitors with location-based verbal tips on how to traverse the city. The specially designed luggage tag consists of an offline GPS module and a speaker. While visitors are walking or cycling through the city, it offers tips at the right location and time; they need only attach the tag to their luggage or clothes for guidance recorded by KLM’s team.
In the tradition of airlines offering perks to improve the travel experience, Finnair began a multiday stopover program in coordination with Visit Finland and also offers excursions as short as five hours, aimed at travelers from the U.S. bound for Asia. Per The New York Times, Finnair has seen an increase in passengers opting to visit Helsinki since the stopover began. Overnight stays in March 2017 were 20 percent higher than in 2016 and 30 percent higher among travelers from the United States, according to Statistics Finland.
As a special courtesy to its passengers, in certain cases in which an itinerary calls for a longer stopover in Dubai, Emirates provides accommodation, meals, ground transportation and visa costs through its Dubai Connect program, helping turn the city into the luxury-oriented mainstay for travelers it is today. When the stopover program first began, 16 million travelers passed through the Dubai airport. By 2016, it was the world’s busiest international airport with 86 million travelers.