Since it was first opened, Honfleur Normandy Outlet has been a firm favourite with French and overseas tourists. Located in the heart of a major tourist region, the outlet is rolling out a vigorous strategy with multiple promotional actions to champion the centre as a destination for visitors: partnerships with the tourist industry, regional promotion, visitor services, and sponsors of sports and cultural events.
30% of foreign visitors in 2019, with figures on the rise
Since the start of the year, approximately 30% of the outlet centre’s visitors are from overseas, principally China, Israel, Brazil, Indonesia, India, the United States, Belgium, Germany and the UK. First half 2019 saw a 65% increase in the number of VAT refunds carried out by the centre compared to the same period in 2018 and a 50% rise in tax-free turnover. The average spend of tax-free shoppers was 331 euros, while the average spend for Russians, the largest clientele from outside Europe, was 426 euros. In order to welcome all these foreign tourists properly, Honfleur Normandy Outlet provides efficient services with a comprehensive tax refund monitoring system. In addition, communication between tourists and the Tourist Information Office inside the outlet centre is facilitated by the use of Russian and Mandarin. This work is possible thanks to the collaboration with Global Blue, that has worked alongside Honfleur Normandy Outlet since the centre first opened, the objective being to improve services targeting foreign clients.
More partnerships and strong ties with the local community
Honfleur Normandy Outlet’s teams have developed close ties with many local players since the centre was first opened, for example the festival of Russian cinema, the fun run ‘Les Foulées Honfleuraises’, the estuary comedy festival and finally the Honfleur Regatta. This year the outlet centre was also a partner of the yachting race Tour de France à la Voile from Fécamp (7 and 8 July), in collaboration with the Seine Maritime Attractivité initiative, and of the Cabourg racecourse. There are 17 racedays during the Cabourg summer race season.
“We are very happy to welcome Honfleur Normandy Outlet as a new Premium Partner at the summer races in Cabourg, ‘Les Estivales de Cabourg’. Honfleur Normandy Outlet and the Cabourg Hippodrome are two major players in Normandy, upholding the same values and addressing similar clients, in particular families. Le Trot, the company organizing the trotting races, is very proud to form this partnership with such a prestigious establishment in Normandy and to be able to promote the races to the million tourists visiting the centre each year,” said Nicolas Duval, Head of Business Partnerships and Sales at Le Trot.
Working with the Tourist Industry
The centre’s team is also committed to players in the tourist industry, such as the tour operator TUI, the tourist office Atout France and various trade shows. A new partnership is currently in the pipeline with TUI The Netherlands for 2020. Honfleur Normandy Outlet already has a partnership with TUI Belgium. The outlet centre is also promoted as part of a collaboration with Brittany Ferries. Within this agreement, during the Christmas period, more than a hundred British ferry customers were able to take advantage of shuttle services running to and from Honfleur Normandy Outlet and benefit from the great deals in the centre.
Events to entertain French and Foreign Tourists
Finally, Honfleur Normandy Outlet has always been very committed to promoting cultural and sporting events. For key dates in the calendar, it hosts exhibitions, entertainment and works by artists. For example, in partnership with Normandie Attractivité and the Normandy Impressionism Destination Contract, the centre is currently hosting a brand new exhibition of works by the Japanese photographer Yasuhiro Ogawa, who explores the work of impressionists while proposing his contemporary vision of their works. For Nathalie Lecerf, the project manager of ‘Normandy Paris Ile-de-France, Impressionist Destination: “The exhibition on show at Honfleur Normandy Outlet is an integral part of a series of initiatives carried out by the Contrat de Destination Impressionnisme Normandie Paris Île-de-France in target markets, including Japan, a strategic country in our quest to attract international tourists.”