VPCC launched the Cruise Friendly Welcome Quality Standard in Toulon in 2013. ‘For us all, it is a question of reaching excellence with a personalised welcome and to help optimise the cruise passenger experience at the same time as helping local businesses, shops and restaurants to attract new customers and to benefit from the economic impact of cruise activity’, said Jacques Bianchi, president of the Var Chamber of Commerce.
The standard is recognised by other Var Provence ports covering over 400 shops in 7 cities including: Bandol, Sanary, Toulon, La Seyne-sur-Mer, Hyères, Le Lavandou, St-Raphaël, with two new cities Fréjus and Le Castellet to join the network in 2020.
The port of Cassis and the Island of La Réunion have joined the Cruise Friendly network and further destinations are expected to join in 2020.
Cruise activity provides revenue of €430m for ports in the Sud Region with an average total spend of €36 on average per passenger with 83% spent in transit.
Seatrade Cruise Awards
Cruise Friendly was a finalist in the Best Marketing Initiative of the year category at the Seatrade Cruise Awards 2017, and the VPCC is working to include the most visited hinterland sites and other ports in France, but, also ports in other worldwide destinations interested in implementing this initiative locally.
The Mayor of Yokohama, Ms. Fumiko Hayashi said: ‘By signing the Cruise Friendly trademark license agreement, the Var Chamber of Commerce authorises the port of Yokohama to use the Cruise Friendly brand and logo in shops to ensure a cruise friendly welcome.
For cruise visitors this means shops will stay open for longer during cruise calls and will offer a discount on purchases. Quality of service will be guaranteed through English speaking shop keepers and mystery shopper will be assigned to control the quality of service.
‘This Cruise Friendly certification is an excellent example of how to mobilise the entire community on the importance of welcoming in the best conditions these new passengers who visit our region for the first time and those who come back’ says Caroline Pozmentier-Sportich, Vice-President of the Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. This quality welcome system fits perfectly within the framework of the cruise tourism sector contract supported by the Region.
Cruise lines are particularly sensitive to the efforts undertaken by the Var Provence Cruise Club and other Cruise Friendly destinations in favour of this VIP welcome set up on their territory for their guests.
Var Provence Cruise Club network is made up of 9 ports including: Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer, Bandol, Sanary, the Ports of Toulon bay (Toulon/La Seyne), Hyères, Le Lavandou, Cavalaire, Saint-Tropez, Fréjus, St-Raphaël.