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The “Cruise Friendly” label spreads to Sète!


Despite the ongoing health crisis, the deployment of the Cruise Friendly label in Sète is not called into question for 2020, simply postponed to September.

The cruise club of Sète joins the very exclusive network of 12 cities worldwide labelled “Cruise Friendly”.

The signing session of the Cruise Friendly brand licensing agreement with the Sète Cruise Club took place on Wednesday 5th of March 2020 at the head office of the Var Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in the presence of Laurence Cananzi, Vice-President Industry and President of the Var Provence Cruise Club and Guillaume Hamel, Head of the Sète Cruise Club.

Cruise Friendly: how to improve the experience of cruise guests ashore

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.

This certification aims to associate retailers, shopkeepers in delivering the best welcome to passengers during their cruise call with the aim of building loyalty among these customers who are travelling by sea to visit and « taste a sample » of our destination.

Cruise Friendly shops undertake to respect the charter’s membership criteria:

Adapt their opening hours to the scheduled cruise calls, offer a warm welcome, make a commercial gesture (offer a gift or a discount to cruise passengers for any purchase), master the sales vocabulary in English in order to optimise the on-shore experience of this clientele.

This privileged welcome allows merchants to benefit from the economic spin-offs of this activity. It makes passengers want to come back and stay in the city where the label is deployed to better discover its main tourist attractions while giving a foretaste of future holiday purchases.

As a reminder, in Région Sud Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, 83% of passengers spend an estimated €36 on average during their stopover, with a 63% intention of returning within the next 3 years.

The Cruise Friendly approach is today followed by 7 ports/cities of the Var department: St-Raphaël, Le Lavandou, Hyères, Toulon, La Seyne-sur-Mer, Sanary, Bandol and Le Castellet.

This scheme is attracting new destinations: the city of Cassis, Reunion Island and Yokohama in 2019, Le Castellet and Sète in 2020.

The Cruise Friendly network is being expanded with the island of Guadeloupe, Tahiti and other ports of call which are studying the forthcoming introduction of this offer, a real lever for quality and a competitive differentiation tool which will enable them to stand out from other destinations.

“For all of us, it’s a question of aiming for excellence: by offering a personalised welcome, by helping to optimise the experience of cruise passengers to leave them with unforgettable memories of their visit to the Var, by helping local shops and businesses to attract new customers and get great benefits from the economic impact of the cruise business,” explains Laurence Cananzi, President of the VPCC club.

The Cruise activity generates substantial economic spin-offs estimated at 430 million euros for the sea and river ports of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region.

More than 850 merchants, leisure and tourism service providers are “Cruise Friendly” members throughout the network.

An initiative that has been widely acclaimed

As finalist in the “Best Marketing Initiative of the Year” category at the 2017 Seatrade Cruise Awards for Cruise Friendly, the VPCC is working to expand the geographic reach of its brand.

This brand licensing agreement created by the Var Chamber of Commerce and Industry authorizes the Sète Cruise Club to use the Cruise Friendly brand and logo.

Sète is the 12th destination to adopt the approach and the cruise club hopes to convince around thirty businesses to adhere to this quality welcome charter, for this first year at the launch of the cruise season.

“We are convinced that a smile, a gesture of welcome and a few words exchanged in the visitor’s language are the guarantee of a successful travel experience for the cruise passenger, whether he or she calls at Reunion Island, Yokohama, the Var or Sète! It is with great enthusiasm that the Sète Cruise Club is joining a network supported by a dynamic team whose deployment throughout the world is the best guarantee of its effectiveness” Guillaume Hamel – Club des croisières de Sète.

Ship owners are particularly sensitive to the “VIP” welcome efforts put in place by Cruise Friendly destinations for their customers.

The Var Provence Cruise Club promotes 9 ports :

* Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer, Bandol, Sanary, the Rade de Toulon ports (Toulon/La Seyne), Hyères, Le Lavandou, Cavalaire, Saint-Tropez, Fréjus, St-Raphaël.


Contact : anne-marie.blum@var.cci.fr