Italian cruise operators have been increasing their investment in the Chinese market even as many key players have withdrawn after the sector's business shrank for the first time in 2018. An analyst said that China and Italy are expected to deepen cooperation in the industry as Italy is set to join the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
Along the Maritime Silk Road, Costa Venezia, Italian cruise operator Costa Cruise's first ship specifically built for the China market, is scheduled to arrive in Shanghai for the first time on May 18. Its sister ship is expected to arrive in China in 2020.
Mario Zanetti, president of Costa Group Asia, told the Global Times that Costa Cruises has always been confident in the potential of China's cruise market, although players like Skysea Cruise Line are leaving the market.
Both passengers and ships declined in the China cruise market in 2018, and some foreign operators have left the market, according to the Annual Report on China's Cruise Industry 2018.
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