Breaking Travel News catches up with Mr Lorenzo Giannuzi, GM of Forte Village to find out how this charming property in Sardinia has maintained its reputation as Italy’s Leading Resort, with such a strong following of loyal guests from all over the world.
BTN: What differentiates Forte Village from other properties in Sardinia?
LG: Forte Village is what we can call one-of-a-kind product. Forte Village is a concept that we could enlarge to all the Mediterranean area. It is a unique product that offers in one solution: 8 hotels, 21 restaurants, facilities for couples, families with children, adults, teen-agers special programmes and more.
BTN: How have occupancy levels been this year and how are forward bookings?
LG: During the past season the occupancy level has been quite high, actually the average has been more than 70%. As far as the future is concerned we can say we are moderately optimistic.
BTN: Which new emerging markets are you targeting? How are you doing this?
LG: India, China and Brazil are the new markets towards which we are directing our efforts, in order to gain new substantial market shares. What distinguishes us is the fact that we are able to host and make perfectly coexist at the same time people of different nationalities and segments, I mean for example young couples and family with children.
BTN: How do you keep your offering fresh, whilst maintaining the essence of Forte Village?
LG: Every year we try to create something new by astonishing our guests with new amazing activities, with new gadgets in the rooms, etc… But all this happens without changing the excellent organization of the service: our staff is without any doubt a reference point for the guests that come to Forte Village each year.
BTN: Will you be rolling out any new developments / products in coming months?
LG: Of course we will. Everything is going to be done in line with our philosophy of surprising and anticipating the market trends.
BTN: How have you weathered the volatile economic climate? In what ways has business been affected?
LG: These have been hard times. Our strength has been to maintain a high percentage of repeat guests. Moreover we have always been offbeat, because we did not lower our rates, but we simply increased the perceived value.
BTN: Can you comment on social media? How have websites such as Tripadvisor impacted on the way you do business? In what ways are you taking advantage of social media and the internet as a way to market your business?
LG: This is a great opportunity and an excellent marketing tool. We are very concentrated on this and developing new activities on facebook and twitter for example.
BTN: Looking ahead, what are your main priorities for 2012? Do you have a bright outlook?
LG: Of course we have. The international political situation raises caution even if we keep on being optimistic and think we’ll have a good season. Although the demand is static we started new activities in different market segments in various countries.
BTN: What does it mean be named Italy’s Leading Resort at the World Travel Awards 2011?
LG: Italy’s Leading Resort is one of the most prestigious awards, it’s a sort of Oscar in the hotel industry. To receive it is something that makes us feel very proud but makes us also feel responsible at the same time, since we are the only Italian resort to receive such an award and this means that we are the ambassadors of the tradition of Italian hospitality in the world.
BTN: What commercial benefits, if any, has this title Italy’s Leading Resort brought to the property?
LG: Besides the world-wide media visibility, this is something that we are very proud of and use it for our internal and external communication.