MAINLAND TOURISTS
Another industry first, from January 2010 Costa Cruises introduces regular
Taiwan cruise itineraries for mainland residents departing from Hong Kong

Costa Cruises continues to set new industry benchmarks for the Chinese cruise
industry as from January 2010 Costa Cruises will be the first international cruise
company, operating in China, to introduce regular Taiwan cruise itineraries for
mainland tour groups.

Offering a total of 15 cruises throughout the year and departing from Hong Kong,
holidaymakers will travel onboard the Costa Classica to some of Taiwan’s most
appealing cities, including Taipei, Keelung and Taichung.

Encouraged by the positive trend of its Chinese cruises and its full confidence and
long-term contribution to the Chinese cruise market, Costa Cruises will launch its
regular Taiwan itinerary on 31 January 2010. This milestone development for the
Chinese cruise industry follows shortly after Costa Cruises became the first industry
leader to operate two ships in China simultaneously, further driving the rapid
development of China’s modern cruise industry.

Following the success of the product marketed in China for four years, Costa Cruises
has strengthened its presence in China. In July and August, Costa Classica and Costa
Allegra are offering a Japan-Korea route at the same time, home-ported in Shanghai
and Tianjin, respectively.

The introduction of regular Taiwanese cruise itineraries provides a natural extension
to the Italian cruise company’s product portfolio. From April to May this year, Costa
Cruises has facilitated three direct cross-straits voyages for more than 3,500 top
sales representatives from Amway, in Mainland China, to visit Taiwan. Providing
every passenger with an unforgettable, passionate and romantic Italian-style cruise
holiday, the cross-straits charter cruise has allowed Costa Cruises to gain valuable
and sufficient insights and experience into the operations of a Taiwanese cruise
holiday and insight into the needs of Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan.

“Two months after the successful completion of Amway chartered cruises to Taiwan,
I am extremely delighted to open another brilliant chapter of Costa Cruises’ splendid
history in China, with the introduction of the first regular Taiwanese cruise itineraries
for Mainland tour groups,” said Massimo Brancaleoni, Vice President of Costa
Crociere Pacific Asia Operations. “With the broadening of the cross-straits travel
policy, Taiwan will be the next enchanting holiday hot-spot for Chinese tourists. Our
regular cruise itineraries to Taiwan will allow our strong customer-base in Asia and
mainland China the unique opportunity to enjoy a truly wonderful and memorable
Italian-style journey on the sea, while discovering the splendors of Taiwan’s rich
natural landscape, gastronomical delights and shopping opportunities. We will stand
firmly on our commitment to providing Chinese tourists with even more new cruise
products and services in the future. The introduction of new regular Taiwanese cruise
itineraries clearly exemplifies our confidence in China and our ambitions to continue
to dominate in this exciting and dynamic market. ”

“We are delighted that Costa Cruises is introducing regular itineraries between Hong
Kong and Taiwan, taking full advantage of the new measure for Mainland tour groups
to take cruise vessels home-porting in Hong Kong to Taiwan.” said Margaret Fong,
Hong Kong Commissioner for Tourism. “These cruise itineraries will enrich the travel
experience of Mainland visitors on multi-destination trips covering two exciting
destinations. The new measure will also reinforce Hong Kong’s position as a regional
cruise hub.”

“The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and the Central People's
Government agreed on further services liberalisation and trade co-operation under
the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) on 9
May 2009. This was breaking news for Costa Cruises, as well as the cross-straits
tourism industry”, said Leo Liu, General Manager China of Costa Crociere S.p.A.,
“Under Supplement VI to the CEPA, cross-straits trips will be open to Mainland tour
groups, who hold valid exit and entry permits for traveling to and from Taiwan and
travel endorsements, to route through Hong Kong. As the first international cruise
company to enter the Chinese market, Costa Cruises quickly became aware of the
many opportunities.”

The tourism cooperation across the strait has been vibrant and the tourists from the
Chinese Mainland to Taiwan have been steadily increasing. According to the China
National Tourism Administration, tourists from the Chinese Mainland have made
more than 350,000 trips to Taiwan so far, following the lifting of the travel ban a
year ago. Costa Cruises’ regular Taiwanese cruise itinerary will depart from Hong
Kong during the months of January, February, May and June.

The five-day, four–night cruise holiday will bring Chinese tourists to Taiwan’s port
city of Keelung, with off-board day trips to Taipei and Tai Chung. The launch of
Costa’s regular cruise itineraries to Taiwan in 2010 will give a boost to local
economies in these Taiwanese port cities. It is estimated that these cruises will bring
more than 50,000 mainland Chinese tourists to these cities aboard Costa cruises.

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