First accredited with the International Marine Certification Institute’s 5 Blue Stars in 2013, the team from Boltenhagen Marina (aka Weisse Wiek) describe how needing to meet the high standards of the certification process inspired a whole host of ideas.
The IMCI certification criteria provide a guide for facilities, amenities and services offered in a marina. To qualify for 5 Blue Stars, a marina needs to comply with requisites such a quality managment standard (ISO 14000 or 9000 or similar), high levels of bathroom services and cleanliness control, tourist information with itinerary suggestions, customer service operating from 8am to 8pm throughout the season, onsite chandlers providing a weekend service, a management and various leisure services including a children’s playground, bike rental, beach or pool, etc. Much emphasis is put on pontoon services, safety equipment and contamination mitigation.
The Boltenhagen team found that when they started brainstorming how to meet criteria sustainably with a long-term perspective in mind, they were able to come up with even better solutions than the proposed measures.
In addition to top equipment and services, offering quality services in the future also means taking into account the increasing need of data volume and energy requirement of our guests. For the power requirements needed onboard, for communications and recharging the electric cars (for which we already have a charging stations), we are now planning to generate most of the necessary energy in the port all year round with self-generated electricity from photovoltaic power plants and storage – with plenty of unexplored potential there. This also includes making our water tourism guests electro-mobile for shopping and land tours for which we already have corresponding rental offers. After all, who doesn‘t like to drive into the city with an e-scooter or golf cart or control the air conditioning system onboard via smartphone.
The port office has also developed into an 5-star reception. Today, weather information and checkout processes are less important for our guests than accepting and distributing deliveries from online orders, enviromental information, rental services and answering technical questions. There are also requests for reservations in restaurants, rooms or the spa areas visits of our hotels. Port fees are now increasingly being paid online or at ATMs. Digitalisation is advancing and we still have room for conceivable further certification criteria.
Investment in amenities and service products pays its way and certification then rounds off a good impression, reassuring our customers. As proof, we we have waiting lists for summer berths and winter storage. we find that the quality and certification experienced actually works more as a reason to come back rather than visit 12.18. Boltenhagen Marina Weisse Wiek for the first time.
We find that staff are proud to work in a well-kept company with high quality products – even if it is difficult to obtain them. The evidence of the highest quality of service and equipment, however, justifies of our price levels and improves the economy considerably. Our staff feel this in the safety of their jobs and their payment even if the multilingualism that we now cover, as well as the higest level of commitment and team spirit, without which the quality service wouldn’t function substainably, can at times take its toll!
The value of certification
There is an increasingly new target group of berth guests from within Germany and abroad, Switzerland, Benelux and even Canada, who are specifically looking for this top level. Some of them work onboard or travel from afar for months to cruise the Baltic Sea for 2 – 3 seasons. They then change their base to another part of Europe or the world. For this target group, top rating and certification as well as membership in the NMA and TEM is an important decision criteria.
Every skipper likes to tell family, friends, colleagues and other water sports enthusiasts about his or her travel experiences and we would like to be the destination they enthusiastically describe. And with this we’re hopefully not just action on behalf our destination, but for the image of water tourism and water sports as a whole.
To find out more about 12.18 Boltenhagen Marina Weisse Wiek, visit their website: www.yachtwelt.de