There are places where you go and feel at home, corners of the world from which all travellers return raving about the friendliness and hospitality of its people. These are ideal destinations to travel to and spend time in.
Being friendly, in the broadest sense of the word, is what every destination and port aspires to achieve. Ports and destinations, together with the entire ecosystem of the industry, work to improve services, create specific programmes, carry out audits and create quality standards to achieve this. All with the sole objective that customers should feel welcome, safe and comfortable in a friendly, pleasant environment and feel loved by local communities.
Being friendly is an attitude that is innate in Mediterranean countries. It is linked to our way of life, so we start with a certain advantage over other territories. Providing a friendly environment for passengers has not been a problem for the ports and destinations of MedCruise.
Cruise-friendly programmes in destinations date back to the first decade of the 21st century and have always been very passenger-centred, with the aim of offering services adapted to their needs: shopping offers, opening hours, payment facilities, language requirements, etc. In the last decade, these programmes have been digitalised and their availability for cruise passengers has been enhanced.
Until now, the industry has focused on the needs of cruise passengers and we believe that it is important also to focus on the crew. In this initiative, ship crews will be supported in our territories, creating a friendly environment adapted to their needs.
How will we manage this new initiative? The main objective is to create a special programme for crew members to achieve this goal.
The first step was to launch a survey to ascertain what facilities and initiatives were available at present in our ports for crews, to gain a true picture of the situation. The survey asked questions such as what kind of service we provided for crews, what kind of support was available such as practical, emotional etc.
Now, we are collecting all this data to better understand our strengths and weaknesses so that we may begin working to expand crew facilities.
To conclude, we created a Working Group to analyse this data and to propose actions. It is an initiative that opens up opportunities for the destinations and ports of MedCruise.