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When the "Italy on the Sea" Encounters Chinese-style Mobile Life

Publish Time:2017-11-14 14:44:42Source:World Tourism Cities

【Introduction】:Mario Zanetti, from Italy, was less than six months as the President of the Costa group, but he still clearly remembered the first time embarrassment when he bought coffee in Shanghai using "mobile phone scan ".

Mario Zanetti, from Italy, was less than six months as the President of the Costa group, but he still clearly remembered the first time embarrassment when he bought coffee in Shanghai using "mobile phone scan". Now he has gradually adapted to the 'Chinese-style mobile life', and he has been increasingly aware of the importance of digital experience for Chinese consumers. Costa Cruise and WeChat APP recently reached a strategic cooperation is the proof, and Costa’s future will be committed to the Chinese tourists to build digital 'One stop' cruise experience.

Q: The Costa cruise ship recently reached a series of deep cooperation with the WeChat. From the digital demand and trends point of view, do you think the Chinese market and foreign markets are different? Do you feel this difference personally in China?

A: The next morning when after arriving Shanghai, I went out to Starbucks to buy a cup of coffee. I also specifically took some cash on ATM machine with my European credit card. When it came to my pay, the staff took out a "big guy", like a gun, and ready to scan. I had to say "I'm sorry, I only have cash." This little thing let me personally feel the mobile digital payment means for Chinese consumers is now happening daily and is very important to Chinese. Compared to Europe, in China, the application of digital technology is more common, and mobile experience is much more important than the Western world. Data show that Chinese consumers using digital shopping and consumption has been ranked first in the world, far more than Europe.

By taking advantage of China's digital trend, we decided to strategically join the WeChat for "one-stop" digital services, for Costa cruise ship passengers from home to the port, from cruise experience to shore sightseeing.

At present, we have been on the line of two WeChat small programs: the first is to meet the cruise travel booking needs of tourists; another is to be able to support more onboard experience: visitors can browse through our free cruise LAN and booking special restaurants, SPA Center, duty free shops and other cruise services.

For example, visitors will be able to purchase tax-free goods on board and enjoy the services of "door to door" (designated cabin) for direct delivery. Now third small program: digital "Today" "Today Mail" – is also on the agenda. It will help visitors arrange all day cruises experience by knowing the interest of each visitor and recommending their favorite boat to them. This small program was presented at the TechCrunch Disrupt Technology Conference in San Francisco in September and will be officially launched in November.

In the future, the micro-program will be a mobile steward for visitors to the cruise ship, providing visitors with excellent travel experience, including: port boarding, onboard experience, cabin automation, customer service communication, restaurant ordering and experience sharing, shore sightseeing, loyalty programs and so on.

Q: How do you see the role of technology in optimizing the customer experience? In addition to technology, from what aspects the Costa will try to improve the passenger experience?

A: In my opinion, technology is only a means of facilitation, in essence, or serves the customer experience, but it is not the only way to enhance the customer experience. Our onboard and shore professional service teams are the core pillars of customer service. Recently, we have just announced with the Italian top football club Juventus to achieve mileage card cooperation. As the official designated cruise of the Juventus Asia, the Costa Asia and the Chinese fleet will bring visitors 360 degree authentic Italian football experience. For example: without stepping out of cabin, visitors at any time can watch Juventus wonderful TV program, Juventus theme elements surrounded by Juventus children's club to relax, 5-14 year old children can also participate in Juventus football school Training programs, etc., which are in line with our "maritime Italy" cruise holiday positioning. In addition, we are also catering, entertainment, shopping and other aspects of the force, for the guests to bring a richer experience and surprise. In all of these processes, the technology is actually the role of support and security, to ensure that our guests want to enjoy some kind of activities or services when they can have a seamless convergence experience.

Q: It is understood that you are an expert in route planning and management. So how do you see the challenges that China is likely to face in today's geopolitical risks?

A: I have also encountered in Europe from the geopolitical risks of the challenge, on this issue, both for the route design and customer experience, we must change a way to consider the situation, that is: what is cruise tourism experience? In my opinion, it is not just about the destination of the tour, but should be on board the resort experience and shore combination. As mentioned earlier, the ship experience is currently the focus of our attention. Moreover, from the Chinese cruise ship departure route, in fact, there are still many options, in addition to Japan, from the port of call in South China going to more destinations in Southeast Asia, such as the Philippines, Vietnam and so on.

Q: Overall, for the future of China's cruise market, the Costa cruise ship will focus on what kind of development strategy?

A: Costa Cruises Group Asia has two strategic priorities in China. One is to continually optimize and upgrade the customer experience. We had a strategic partnership with Microsoft to make this strategic focus.

The future, we hope for Chinese consumers continue to provide beyond their expectations, pure "maritime Italy" cruise holiday to enjoy, so that their experience in the ship more smoothly seamless, and immediately follow the trend of the times. The second largest strategic focus is cooperation with the tourism industry. Only to maintain close cooperation with the travel partners, with their knowledge of the source market and a broad distribution network, to reach more consumers, but also to existing and potential customers on our brand concept and product details, plus having more in-depth understanding of the market. In addition, we are developing a strategy called "Costa New Generation" Program, which means on the one hand, we will continue to strengthen the Costa cruise ship “Italy On the Sea" brand and product positioning; and on the other hand, the cruise ship Costa Allegra introduced the opening of the Chinese cruise market development first "golden decade", and in the next decade, we will continue to be committed to become China's cruise industry leader.

This will be the focus of mine and my team's work in the Chinese market. To this end, we must first understand the needs of the guests, to create a better holiday experience for them and to ensure that in the promotion of this holiday concept, as much as possible we want to convey the information that become more simple and easy to understand, that is a more value for money holiday solution.

Q: Carnival Group in China has been very stressed that the cruise industry "ecosystem". In your opinion, where is the relatively weak link inside this "ecosystem"?

A: China's cruise market is still in the early stages of development, and the market has great potential. With the increased income and China's growing number of middle class, leisure and entertainment industry will have developed by leaps and bounds.

At this stage, China's cruise market penetration is less than 0.2%, while the North American market penetration is more than 3.5%, so the market's development potential is amazing. In order to have a promising future, what we need to do now is to push the entire Chinese cruise industry to another height, that is, the entire ecosystem should be both force, self-renewal, and constantly open up the market and jointly build a sustainable Chinese cruise ecosystem.

Specifically, we believe that the main should be from the tourists experience, market education, infrastructure and other aspects of the start. Cruise companies are committed to the upgrading of products and services on board to meet and exceed the expectations of tourists, and with the Government, Tourism Bureau and the media work together to enhance the Chinese consumers on the cruise tour awareness, stimulate their interest, so that a new resort approach can be more deeply rooted.

We are also committed to expanding our business to first-tier cities and coastal cities in order to further penetrate the market, so that more consumers understand cruise tourism. In addition, the future with the Chinese cruise consumer market expansion.

The introduction of the wheel will become inevitable, and the current global cruise construction capacity is limited. Therefore, Carnival Group's joint venture in China and China Shipbuilding Group has signed a memorandum of agreement, will order the first batch of local cruise ships.

Q: In the past two years, the travel agency charter model has gradually shifted to a more diversified distribution model. In the process, what happens to the cruise company to encourage or respond to this change?

A: Over the past decade, travel agencies have greatly promoted the rise and rapid development of China's cruise industry. Since 2006, China officially entered the domestic port cruise market so far, Costa cruise along the way, with industry partners laid a solid foundation for cooperation. Although in the past decade, the Chinese market has undergone ever changing changes and development, but for the song of the cruise, the travel agency distribution is still an important channel to attract tourists.

We hope that through good cooperation with industry partners, so that potential customers will have a better understanding of the poetry of the cruise brand concept, more willing to buy our products. In the future, we will continue with the travel partners to maintain close communication and cooperation, and through various forms of continuous support and assistance from travel partners in the marketing efforts.

Q: What is the plan for the deployment of 2018 in the Chinese market? Can you tell us about the introduction of new ships in the next few years?

A: China has a vast territory, and its market consumption potential is not limited to the port and its surrounding cities. In 2018, the Costa cruise ship in Asia will continue to multi-parent port deployment strategy. Costa Cruise Asia fleet in China will jointly force, continue to deepen China's domestic port cruise market.

At the same time, we will be committed to upgrading the ship products and services, continue to consolidate industry leadership. We will also introduce two Vista-rated cruises tailored for the Chinese market in 2019 and 2020. In the next few months we will announce more details about the new boat.

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