Port of Yokohama: a new “Cruise Friendly” destination
The signature ceremony of the « Cruise Friendly » licence contract between the Port of Yokohama and the Var Chamber of Commerce and Industry of France has been held Friday October 11 in the Yokohama City Hall.
In presence of Ms. Yuri Arakida, Deputy Mayor, Ms. Atsuko Ikedo, Director of Culture and Tourism Bureau, Mr. Hiroya Nakano, Director of Port and Harbor Bureau for Yokohama, and Jacques Bianchi, President of the Var CCI, accompanied by Anne-Marie Blum, Manager of the Var Provence Cruise Club and Caroline Pozmentier-Sportich, Vice-President for International Relations of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region, for France.
The objective of this label is to build customer loyalty, by delivering an extraordinary experience to cruise guests, in order to make a great impression and to increase their desire to return once again for a sojourn in the city where the label is implemented.
To achieve this, the Var Chamber of Commerce and its Var Provence Cruise Club (VPCC) use the lever of quality as a tool of competitive differentiation by launching in 2013 the Welcome Quality Label “Cruise Friendly” in Toulon.
“For us all, it is a question of reaching excellence by a personalized welcome, helping to optimize the experience of the cruise guests, and to leave them an unforgettable memory of their call in the Var and at the same time helping local businesses and shops, restaurant keepers to attract new customers and to benefit of the economic impact of the cruise activity”, says Jacques Bianchi, President of the Var Chamber of Commerce.
This label is today acclaimed by other Var Provence ports reaching a total of more than 400 shops in 7 cities: Bandol, Sanary, Toulon, La Seyne-sur-Mer, Hyères, Le Lavandou, St-Raphaël, with two new cities to join the network in 2020: Fréjus and Le Castellet.
An exemplary initiative
Cruise Friendly was finalist in the “Best marketing initiative of the year” category at the Seatrade Cruise Awards 2017, and the VPCC is working to extend its brand to include the most visited hinterland sites and to other ports in France as well, but not only, having been approached by leading ports in other destinations of the world which are interested in implementing this great initiative locally.
The port of Cassis and the Island of La Réunion have stepped in and joined the Cruise Friendly network.
And this is just the beginning, as other destinations are studying the project closely for 2020. This is the case of the Port of Yokohama as the authorities are very enthusiastic in the launching of this project.
“We are proud to be part of the” Cruise Friendly “family in the hope that more cruise passengers will discover the main sights and the atmosphere of our city, as this project fits perfectly with our motto” Inspire your soul “ underlines the Mayor of Yokohama, Ms. Fumiko Hayashi.
By signing the Cruise Friendly trademark license agreement, the Var Chamber of Commerce concedes the authorization to the port of Yokohama to use the Cruise Friendly brand and logo and the latter by affixing its logo, to deploy the device to Yokohama shopkeepers from ensuring that the charter specifications are respected in order to provide a quality welcome to cruise guests: the guarantee to stay open during cruise calls, to offer a discount or a gift after any purchase, to speak English, to accept the visit of a mystery shopper (to control the quality of service).
The cruise activity provides substantial economic spinoffs amounting to € 430 million for maritime and river ports in the Region Sud: € 36 average in expenditure per passenger (83% of them spend in transit). “This Cruise Friendly certification is an excellent example of how to mobilize 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 favor of this “VIP” welcome set up on their territory for their guests.