Excitement is building among 154 volunteers for the return this month of the first ever cruise ship to visit Wollongong.
#cruisewollongong project manager Stuart Barnes said when Radiance of the Seas makes its second visit to Port Kembla on January 29 it will be another chance for the city to really showcase itself internationally as the friendly port.
Mr Barnes comments comes after Destination Wollongong put out a call for businesses interested in offering exclusive retail offers redeemable by coupon in a flyer it is producing for volunteers to hand out when passengers hop of their shuttle buses in the Arts Precinct in just over a week.
“We are obviously keen for businesses to be involved for two reasons. One is to get the best benefit out of our cruise ship visitors. Because we know the values of these ships is above $800,000 per visit to the local economy,” he said.
The other reason it is important to keep activating the community is the impact it makes on the global image of the city.
“We want to really push the idea of us being the friendly port. This is a brand for Wollongong we are really trying to take on. That is our point of difference in the fast growing international cruise industry. It has been brought about by our incredible ambassadors.”
Many businesses have also created that vibe on previous visits by being so open, helpful and friendly to domestic and international visitors arriving by ship. That pride and positivity is not only helping create a new opportunity for Wollongong in a previously unexplored section of the tourism sector but opening up many other possibilities as well.
Mr Barnes said it was wonderful so many businesses were so open to guests and #cruisewollongong was encouraging more.
“We use a term cruise ready. The more businesses who understand who is coming in by ship and what they need than that obviously creates the impression of a friendly port for out guests. And that is our reputation that we really want to build,” he said.
Mr Barnes said the visit in 10 days is also a chance to promote local flavours, lifestyle, produce and things that are intrinsically Wollongong.
Previous visitors have loved how Wollongong has provided them with a new and different experience as well as good shopping, food and coffee. They have also loved they can squeeze in so many attractions and activities so close to the port.
Mr Barnes said creating a good impression can be as simple as putting a whiteboard out the front saying “we welcome you”.
“That is what we are trying to encourage. And it is something everyone can help with. If you are walking down the street and see someone who is obviously a guest, because they will probably have their lanyard around their neck, why not say “hello and welcome to Wollongong.”
“We have 154 ambassadors we are activating this time in teams all over the city and beaches. It all fits very nicely into this idea of Wollongong as the friendliest city in the world to visit”.
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- The #cruisewollongong project manager who met his wife and found a new country to live working on a ship: video and photos
- Wollongong says a big thank you to Stuart Barnes