Zanetti on China: ‘We Know Potential Is There’

The cruise industry in South China is playing an increasingly important role for Costa Cruises, said Mario Zanetti, president of Costa Group Asia.

Zanetti was speaking at China Cruise Shipping 13 in Shenzhen, China, and pointed out that Costa had added new homeport options in 2017 in Xiamen and Guangzhou.

“We know the potential is there,” he said, noting that the industry was moving from a previous model of fast growth to a new environment of sustainable growth.

He said China’s consumers were changing, and Costa was focusing on a consumer-centric product.

“We must evolve from a supply-driven market to a consumer-centric market,” he said.

New innovations include partnerships with leading international brands, as well as welcoming Chinese payment solutions onboard such as Alipay.

Other innovations let Costa receive feedback from guests in real-time onboard its ships through a mobile app.

A new 53-day, 15-country itinerary is on tap for the start of 2019 in partnership with Caissa, a major Chinese tour operator.

The new 4,132-guest Costa Venezia will debut in Shanghai in 2019, and a second newbuild, also designed for China, will follow her in 2020.

“The two new ships represent our commitment and belief in the market,” Zanetti added.

The Fortuna will head back to Europe in early 2019 as the Venezia takes her place.

In addition, the Serena and Atlantica remain in the Chinese cruise market on a year-round basis for the Italian brand.

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