Our guests will get a sense of the AIDA crew’s exceptional commitment to service at every possible opportunity. We are delighted by all the positive feedback we receive in person on board, in the mail, on social media, and also from external institutions. In 2015, we were recognized as a Service Champion for the fifth time for the highest rated customer service experience.
Our guests are important to us, which is why we offer them special benefits with the AIDA Club. Previously, guests who have spent at least 10 days on board AIDA over the past five years could become members of the AIDA Club.
We premiered the new AIDA Club on October 1, 2015. Even as soon as the first AIDA voyage, this new club will offer all members exclusive benefits and discounts in the form of credits and Internet packages as well as offers in the AIDA online shop. Starting with this new AIDA Club, all our members are earning valuable “sea miles” with every AIDA vacation that are credited to them after their trip. For the first time, they will be calculated based on the length of the cruise, the price bracket, and the stateroom category. In addition to the current Blue, Red, Yellow, and Green club levels, we have added a new Gold level to show our special appreciation and offer exclusivity for our guests who have the most sea miles. Additionally, our guests as young as 16 can now also collect sea miles and enjoy benefits and discounts for teens.
Using the club portal, you can look up information such as your club status and associated benefits throughout the year. Depending on the club level, the benefits range from special club meetings and free offers to onboard credit and culinary highlights. Our onboard club meetings give members the chance to talk with the crew outside the day-to-day interactions. We also get our club members actively involved in AIDA activities as part of the club program. Furthermore, we incorporate what our guests would like to see in our product development.
Green and Gold Club members receive regular invitations to shoreside events and maritime celebrations. In 2015, for example, the AIDA Club invited members to the port anniversary in Hamburg and, through its club newsletter, also held a raffle with 60 tickets for two persons each for an AIDA gourmet event in the Cologne/Düsseldorf area.
In 2015 we additionally appointed Club Ambassadors for the first time. The three acting Club Ambassadors were selected from more than 100 applicants with a live vote. They will hold this position for one year and, on behalf of hundreds of thousands of AIDA fans, will act as online bloggers to report about fresh, interesting and original news from the AIDA holiday world and great AIDA events in text, video and photo format.
Our social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ combined with our AIDA web lounge gives our guests interactive opportunities to share information about AIDA. This not only benefits the dialog within the communities, but our company as well. This way we receive honest feedback every day and it is just as quick and easy for us to contact our guests as it is for them to contact us.
In 2015, we saw our number of Facebook fans increase from 835,000 to 950,000. At the end of January 2016, we even surpassed the one-million mark. In addition to the latest news, video clips, and information about our company, our Facebook page provides a modern platform for direct dialog and interaction. The impressions and reports that our guests share with other users also offer personal insights into the AIDA world. For many followers, it is a valuable tool for booking their vacation on the AIDA fleet. This community thus provides great added value for our fans as well as potential guests. For AIDA, these platforms also allow us to obtain many valuable tips on how we can continue to improve and keep exceeding guest expectations in the future.
Another important component in our online dialog is the AIDA Weblounge, which grew to 100,000 members in 2015.
In order to make searching for and booking a future vacation as easy and straightforward as possible, we are constantly working to improve the user-friendliness of our website. We give our guests a convenient option for booking their next dream vacation online, while also protecting the environment by saving paper.
Our AIDA smartphone app also gives our guests much more than an interactive catalog: It combines a personal cruise experience and a detailed travel planning opportunity so guests on any of our ships can access their voyage ahead of time on their smartphone and even customize their travel plans. Our guests can stay in touch with family and friends even at sea: All of our ships are equipped with Internet service.
Responsibly handling our guests' personal information goes without saying for us. We collect, process, and use personal data only in accordance with legal regulations. The EU Data Protection Directive and the German Federal Data Protection Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz) are decisive here.
The data protection declaration and the data protection provisions are binding for all employees. AIDA's internal data protection officer monitors compliance with the provisions. Our guests can always exercise their right to information and to object at any time by going to email@example.com. In addition, TÜV Süd audits the data protection compliance of AIDA Cruises.