Martinique Pushing Well-Polished Product

Tourism officials in Fort-de-France have made their downtown beach even more appealing.

Passengers arriving in 2019 will find new beach chairs and umbrellas awaiting them, just feet from their ship at Pointe Simon. New electric tour carts can zip passengers to and from the Aimé Césaire Museum Space, and new open-roof tour busses take them to beyond-the-beach culinary and cultural activities.

New umbrellas might not seem like a big deal, but Martinique is pushing to improve on an already well-polished product.

In June, the port received ISO 9001 certification, a rigorous test for ensuring customers’ needs are properly taken into account and that organizations can meet them in an appropriate and consistent way.

The challenges remain the same, said Jacques Bajal, manager of cruise, yachting and water sports for the Martinique Port Authority. “Exceeding passenger experiences, give more experience choices, unite all local forces to cater to passengers’ needs,” he said. “Same challenge for years: Keep increasing passengers’ satisfaction and win cruise lines’ loyalty.”

Bajal predicts a slight dip in 2019, with 344,224 transit passengers arriving and roughly 120,000 homeporting, for a total of 464,224. Last year the port handled 527,081 passengers, 392,837 in transit and 134,244 homeporting.

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