Costa Cruises, the largest Italian travel group, has confirmed its leadership in Italy, the country which derives the greatest  economic benefits from the cruise industry in Europe,  which is the focus of attention at the first edition of the “Italian Cruise Day”  Forum.

In 2011 the ships in the Costa fleet, which are all Italian-flagged ships, called at a total of 22 ports in Italy and clocked up approximately 900 calls, generating a traffic of some four million cruise passenger movements, which works out to a growth of 50% compared to 2010. 

Costa’s ships carried over a third of the 11 million cruise passenger movements handled by Italian ports in 2011 (source: Agenzia Cemar). In particular, in Venice the Italian company generated a traffic of 600,000 cruise passenger movements, 25% more than in 2010.

“Despite the fact that the economic situation is not the most favorable, Italian cruising remains a growth industry and continues to play a key role in terms of the creation of wealth and employment.  Costa Cruises is Italy and Europe’s number one cruise company and the driving force for the continent’s cruise industry as a whole:  in 2011 we brought about 4 million cruise passenger movements to the nation’s ports, of which 600,000 in Venice; in 2010 we generated a direct and indirect impact worth some 2.2 billion euros in Italy alone and for the second year running we were in the Top 10 of Italy’s most profitable companies, in the Top 50 in terms of sales and the first in the tourism industry,” commented Costa Crociere President Gianni Onorato.

The driver for Costa’s growth in the Mediterranean in 2011 was the entry into service of the new flagship Costa Favolosa.

The important role of Costa Crociere S.p.A. in the Italian economy is confirmed also the survey of leading Italian companies carried out by Mediobanca’s Research Unit, comprising over 3,700 Italian enterprises that recorded revenue of at least 50 million euros last fiscal year. In the most recent edition of the survey, dealing with corporate results for FY 2010, the Italian Company is included again in the Top 10 of the country’s most profitable companies and moves up to 44th place in terms of size, with revenues just under 3 billion euros in 2010 (compared to 49th place the year before).

Much of the Costa Group’s business output is generated in Italy, which also happens to be the European country that is the biggest beneficiary of the continent’s cruise industry according to the European Cruise Council.  In 2010 Costa Crociere S.p.A. generated an economic impact of over 2.2 billion euros for Italy’s economy (source: MIP, Milan Polytechnic Business School).

This business output was generated from 3 main sources.  The first is direct spending (comprising all of the Group’s direct expenditure, for example:  general expenses for supplies; new buildings and fleet maintenance; travel agency commissions; and port services). 

The second source consists of payrolls for Costa’s shoreside and shipboard personnel who are Italian citizens or resident in Italy – over 3,600 full-time employees (based on the FTE – full-time equivalent – calculation method).  The third and final source – indirect spending – comprises the expenses incurred in Italy by (Italian and foreign) Guests vacationing on Costa’s ships (transport costs as well as purchases of items for use on the cruise such as luggage, swimsuits, etc.).  Direct spending, payrolls and indirect spending in turn generate business output for the product/service supply chain (additional employment, increased market demand, orders placed with the suppliers’ own suppliers, etc.). This business output, added to direct spending and payrolls, amounts to around 2.2 billion euros.

The economic impact of the Costa Group also contributes very substantially to employment.  The MIP investigation measures this contribution as follows:  12,300 jobs, of which 3,600 within the Group and 8,700  generated all the way along the supply chain and including job creation among tourism service providers (based on the FTE – full-time equivalent – calculation method). Total employees of Costa Crociere S.p.A., including all nationalities, are about 24,000.