BTN caught up with Alfonso Imperato, the general manager of Italy’s Furore Inn Resort on the Amalfi Coast to discuss the luxury resort’s latest achievements and developments as well as plans to target the modern traveller seeking new experiences.
BTN: Can you tell me about what kind of year it has been for you?
Imperato:Well 2007 has been a very successful year for Furore Resort and Furore itself because apart from being named Italy’s Leading Boutique Hotel by the World Travel Awards, the hotel has also been recognised by Conde Nast as a leading romantic destination on the Amalfi Coast. Furore has also been included in a project that is being carried out by the European Community.
BTN: What is this project going to do for the hotel, for the property and for the area itself in terms of promotion?
Imperato:The project will acknowledge new localities that are becoming tourist destinations in Amalfi. What the authorities have to do though is develop tourism without transforming the region’s specific local activities. This means we celebrate say our agricultural heritage—these activities must not be forgotten. So in the future there will be more ways of combining tourism with specific local activities in the area around the hotel.
BTN: Will these local activities help promote the Furore product as well?
Imperato:Tourists always have an interest in local attractions. Not only landscapes or historical features, but also local activities, agriculture and wine. I think tourists are looking for a kind of education.
BTN: Do you think tourists are changing in terms of the experiences they are looking for?
Imperato:Tourists are always asking for more experiences. This is why one of the major selling points for us is always the packages that include a stay at the Furore Inn with a spa experience, a cooking experience and wine tasting. So it is a combination of products that attract more tourists.
BTN: What do you see as the challenges going forward for 2008?
Imperato:As usual we will focus on the American market, I can say that they are our best market, but we will not say no to North Europe and to new markets like China and India.
BTN: Which regions do you think have more potential in the future?
Imperato:Well, everybody is focusing on China lately where it seems the travel product is booming so I think it should be the next market, but I do think it will take some time.
BTN: Do you think your product has to change slightly to appeal to theses new markets say for Russia and China? Menu’s in Mandarin, staff who speak Mandarin or Russian, that kind of thing?
Imperato:Yes, obviously this has to change - we know that already with the Russian market - If we don’t have someone who speaks Russian it is impossible to deal with their needs - it will be the same with China. I can say from my point of view, from my experience - we must always have people who can speak with our guests.
For more information contact:
furore Inn Resort
Contrada S. Elia - 84010
furore (sa) Italia
Tel: +39 089 8304711
Fax +39 089 8304777