MILAN, Sept. 10 (Class Editori) -- The Belt and Road Initiative travels along the routes that connect Europe and Asia also on board cruise ships. As a matter of fact, the cruising holiday market is growing rapidly and there are many alliances and cooperations that are developing between Italian groups and local entities in the Far East.
The Costa Crociere group, controlled by the American Carnival, has recently taken over the first ship – renamed Costa Venezia – at the Fincantieri plant in Monfalcone, specially designed and furnished to conquer the Chinese market.
The Fincantieri group, led by the CEO Giuseppe Bono, who will build the first unit from cruise entirely Made in China together with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) which is the third company with the United States (Carnival Corp.) and Italy (Fincantieri).
The margins for the Far East cruise market seem to be very significant: "Currently, Chinese cruise passengers are 2.5 million, but penetration is just 2% of outbound travelers, who currently number 140 million. Within a decade we expect the Chinese cruise market to be worth 10 million passengers and in the long term it will become the first region in the world," said Mario Zanetti, president of Costa Group Asia.
Costa was by far the first player to explore the Chinese cruise market in 2006 and today has 4 of its 15 fleet ships in a stable position in China and Asia. The Carnival Group is preparing to launch in a few years a new company specifically designed for Chinese customers and to take care of it "will be Costa", as announced by CEO Michael Thamm.
Costa Venezia, 135,000 gross tons and interiors designed to offer more than 5,200 Chinese guests each week most of the attractions they love most – including gambling and karaoke – will be followed by another sister ship next year always under construction at Fincantieri in the Marghera shipyard, near Venice.
The CSSC chairman, Lei Fanpei, was also present in Monfalcone to see how to built and what the end result of a cruise ship is. "We need to create in Friuli a supply chain and a turnover for the construction of ships that can be an example for all of Italy. A turnover that can be exported abroad. We will bring it to China and make it grow," he said at the Bono delivery ship ceremony.
Even MSC Crociere, one of the largest private companies in the world founded by the businessman Gianluigi Aponte, announced that his new flagship MSC Bellissima will arrive in China in 2020. With a gross capacity of 171,598 tons, a length of 316 meters and a maximum capacity of 5,686 passengers, will be the largest cruise ship used in Asia.
The base ports will be Shanghai, Tianjin, Qingdao and Shenzhen for a total of 35 cruises planned next year. The inauguration will take place in Shanghai on 17 June 2020. "We are looking forward to bringing high quality products and international market experience to Chinese consumers. The distribution of MSC Bellissima is further evidence of our long-term commitment to China and the Chinese cruise industry", said Achille Staiano, MSC vice-chairman for global sales activities.
One of the fastest growing markets in China is tourism. In particular, the cruise industry has experienced in a short time a huge and very fast growth, to the point that China has all the credentials to become the most important hub in the world, with as many as 20 million passengers expected in 2030, equal to 10 times or almost the current ones.
CMIT-Europe is also interested, a Ravenna-based company controlled by China Merchants, perhaps the largest public conglomerate with activities ranging from port management, bank credit and oil, specialized among other things in the ship design.
CMIT signed a MoU with Rina for the regulatory verification of innovative solutions for its new cruise ship projects. Rina, a leading company for ship classification, certification and engineering support services, will provide its experience in the cruise world by carrying out technology validation and concept approval activities for the projects developed.
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