Port of Helsinki
9.6.2020 19:28:55 //
Kimmo Kallonen
Ville-Veikko Heinonen

Your travel adventure starts at the terminal

Passengers’ needs and requests form the basis for service design aimed at revamping the Olympia Terminal. Pleasant interiors and digital services reduce queues and enable families to start having fun before they even get on the boat.

The Port of Helsinki’s goal is to become the world’s most functional port. When it comes to passenger traffic, the best indication of functionality is the customer experience, which is enhanced with the aid of service design.

The Olympia Terminal will be turning 70 in a couple of years’ time and is already in need of an upgrade. A service design project carried out by Piia Hanhirova (MSSc) during the spring analysed the problems that customers are currently experiencing and their wishes for future developments.

“Our main goal was to gain a better understanding of our end customers’ genuine needs, to ensure that the terminal environment is properly maintained and developed. The basic concept is that your travel adventure can start at the terminal, before you even board the ship. Our secondary goal is to be able to scale up the results achieved at the Olympia Terminal in other areas of the port,” says Piia Hanhirova.

Data for the study was collected by interviewing passengers and other passenger-traffic stakeholders.

A typical Olympia Terminal customer was selected: a family of four whose holiday was arranged by the mother, “Tiina Finn”.
When it comes to travelling, Tiina appreciates nature, good food and drink, a little bit of “extra luxury” and easy-to-use digital services. She gets frustrated by queuing, overconsumption, congestion and selfish fellow passengers.

Concrete ideas were also added: something sensible for both children and adults to do while waiting to board the ferry, such as a pleasant restaurant with beautiful sea views and activities for the kids. Tiina hopes that digital services will reduce queueing at check-in and make it easier to make bookings for the ferry’s restaurants and other services.

“Factors relating to comfort at the terminal and the development of digital services were at the top of passengers’ wish lists. The Olympia Terminal’s infrastructure also needs refurbishing. Now is a good time to gather information from passengers and other stakeholders at the port to provide a basis for the revamp,” says Hanhirova.

“Thanks to its location, the Olympia Terminal could also have a high-calibre restaurant that would serve other customers in addition to passengers waiting to board their ship.”

Piia Hanhirova stresses that the port is an integral part of downtown Helsinki and urban culture, and this package should be developed as a whole.

“We need to take a holistic approach in which all stakeholders are involved in urban development. Revamping waterfront areas in downtown Helsinki in typically just this kind of project,” says Hanhirova, who has transferred from the Port of Helsinki to Forum Virium.

The Olympia Terminal refurbishment project still requires some more detailed planning and the exact schedule will be determined later.