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Angelo Capurro: Costa Crociere offers Italian style in international environment

TravelDailyNews met Mr. Angelo Capurro, Sales & Marketing Project Manager in Europe & R.o.W. for Costa Crociere in the new ship of the company the Costa Serena, where Mr. Capurro analyzed the plans of the cruise line for the coming period.

TravelDailyNews: What’s new for Costa Crociere in the 2007/2008?

Angelo Capurro: We are launching our new programme in February for all the countries in 2008. First of all Costa Crociere has a new ship the Costa Serena and for sure we will take care about the itinerary of the ship and this is for us along with Concordia we launched this year the biggest ships we have on our fleet. Costa Serena will embark with itineraries in the Eastern Mediterranean, with Greece and Turkey to be part of the itineraries starting from Venice and Bari and it will also sail to Istanbul. This year we will also cover all the Mediterranean Sea the Western and Eastern part of it and we will cover every country. Istanbul will be our embarkation port and we will approach several ports across Mediterranean but we will not have an embarkation port from Greece because of the cabotage even though we include many ports of Greece on our itineraries. We also have Lisbon this year as we opened a new office, our office in Lisbon, Portugal. Furthermore, we will launch news ships in 2009 and 2010 and we always look for new ports of call and particularly in Greece.

TDN: Do you expect greater demand for Greece?

A. C.: We hope so. We are in the Greek market four years now and our goal is to expand as much as possible the distribution and as we expect a growing demand for Costa Crociere we are looking for the next year until 2010 to develop new markets and of course Greece is one of our new markets so we will take advantage of every single opportunity to expand the region.

TDN: From which Mediterranean countries do you attract more travelers?

A. C.: Italy is for sure our main market but we have a great percentage from Spain and France and in Europe we are the leader in the international cruise industry and a big proportion in Northern Europe. But we are always looking for new itineraries, new offers for our customers and an example for this year is we are the first company to launch to Dubai with two ships as there is a growing interest from German, Austrian and UK markets. Another important area in our development is Hong Kong and generally China where we opened two new offices, one in Shanghai and one in Hong Kong. Also, we move on of our ships there.

TDN: What are your expectations for this market and for India?

A. C.: We focus especially on China where we have changed our deployment adding a 14-days cruise that we offer even for the European markets. We are experiencing a very positive feedback especially if you see our booking from the European markets and for sure it is a wonderful way to see a different and a wonderful place but with the service of a European – Italian standard that we offer to our customers.

TDN: Are you going to offer new amenities in your new ships?

A. C.: We have a lot of innovation and for sure the ship (Costa Serena) is made to support every kind of weather because we have decided to have this kind of ship for all the entire year even during the winter in the Mediterranean Sea. As far as the amenities are concerned, there is one special that we have launched with Costa Concordia and we have it also in this ship is the Samsara concept and we are talking about a wellness area with all the treatments that one can find such as spa e.t.c We focus a lot on the well-being concept. We have a formula one simulator which is only for adults and highly professional. Another amazing thing is that this ship can be covered totally in the pool deck. Actually, one can walk from the one side to the ship to the other without going outside.

TDN: What are your estimations for the company’s revenues for 2007-2008?

A. C.: We are growing in every sector so we are talking about the capacity and we grow a lot in turnover. In six years time from 2000 until 2006 we experienced a three time more in revenues as it is a growing market and we are in line with it. We decided to build this new ship because of the growing demand. This year we will be reaching the one million passengers which is a historical record for our cruise line and not only for Costa Crociere but for the whole industry in Europe.

TDN: Is cruise only for a special category of people?

A. C.: Absolutely is for all people. We launched a new price policy last year and we decided to change the rules of the market in all the markets around the world. So we have already placed on our brochure two difference prices; one is the brochure price which is the normal price and the one we put in 2005 -2004 and there is the other price which is calculated with some discount that can be two for one discount, two for one on our brochure price till 50% discount for the second passenger. We try to anticipate the booking and this mean that in some period of the year we talk about eleven days in a cruise ship like Costa Serena for 599 euro. So this is something that if you compare it with a hotel price and with our all-included service on board I believe this is a very competitive one. If you thing something like that in the price that I mentioned is something unbelievable. This is possible as by increasing the capacity of the ship the cost for every single passenger of our company drops year by year. That is the reason why we try to offer more and why we need to enlarge our base of customers.

TDN: What is the nationality of your customers?

A. C.: We cover every kind of nationality and not only Europeans. We have many Asians and North Americans. This is something that is very different with the other companies because small number of guests who travel with our main competitors from Greece for example or from Russia or from Turkey they do not feel like their home. In our ships this is totally different as we are used to deal with every nationality. This is the main difference. Every year we decrease the percentage of Italians in our ships because we increase more the others not because we decrease the number of Italians. What we always say is that we have Italian style with international environment so every can feel like their home and that is the most important thing.

TDN: What is your opinion about the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative?

A. C.: We have two ships in Miami which is our port of embarkation in the region and the 80% of these two ships are Americans. In our case is not that big issue as we have one ship that operates in the French territory of the Caribbean. We were prepared and we had some difficulties in the beginning but now we operate without problems. There were some problems in the first year until everyone in the business to adjust in the new rules but everything now works normally.

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