Costa Crociere is expanding its presence in the Benelux countries and in Emilia Romagna
. In December 2002, the Genoese company will open one new commercial office in Bologna and one in Brussels, with the aim of significantly strengthening its development on the European market and promoting the Costa trademark in the Benelux countries and in Emilia Romagna.
Costa’s new office in Brussels, which is due to open officially towards the end of 2002, will be in charge of sales and promotion of Costa cruises in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. It will be managed by Patrick J. Pourbaix, with his assistants Aurelie Vermeulen, responsible for the French-speaking market, and Eveline Vanderstraeten, responsible for the Flemish-speaking market. Pourbaix, who was born in Rotterdam in 1959, has directed many companies in the cruise industry which have become leaders on the Belgian market. The new General Director of the Brussels office was also President of the professional association “Cruise & Ferry World” from 1997 to 2002. Costa Crociere has been present for some time in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, where it operates via its offices in Paris and Frankfurt, respectively; with the opening of the new branch in Brussels, Costa Crociere intends to further intensify its efforts on the Benelux market
Costa Crociere’s new commercial office in Bologna will open for business in December 2002 under the direction of Roberto Chiantera, Costa Crociere’s Area Manager for Emilia Romagna and the Marches. It will act as Costa Crociere’s regional base and handle sales of Costa cruises in the area.
“In Emilia Romagna we can already count on a consolidated presence with around 450 travel agencies,” said Roberto Chiantera. “The potential for development of the cruise business is encouraging and the fact we’ll be using Ravenna as a weekly port of call in summer 2003 means we need to strengthen our presence in the area.”
Several local marketing initiatives have already been undertaken in order to support and heighten awareness of the Costa brand in the region. Examples include the sponsorship of Bologna’s two basketball teams – Fortitudo Hokkaido Pallacanestro, which has Costa Crociere as its official partner, and Virtus Pallacanestro, for which Costa Crociere is official supplier – as well as Costa Point, a multimedia centre inside the Paladozza of Bologna where it is possible to obtain information about Costa and its cruises, and the Costa Game, a virtual reality contest directly accessible via the Internet with fantastic prizes to be won including two Costa cruises.
With the opening of the new branches in Bologna and Brussels, Costa Crociere now has offices in 23 cities in 14 different nations: Genoa, Milan, Rome, Padua, Turin, Naples, Palermo, Bologna, Paris, Monte Carlo, Madrid, Barcelona, London, Frankfurt, Zurich, Brussels, Miami, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Manila and La Romana.