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Costa taps India gsa as it restarts marketing post-Concordia

In one of its first major sales initiatives following the Costa Concordia disaster, Costa Crociere on Saturday named Lotus Destinations as its gsa for India as part of an immediate push into this emerging market that focuses on promoting short, near-term Mediterranean and Asia cruises.

Costa’s Dario Rustico, sales and marketing director for Central Europe, Africa, Middle East and India, is in Mumbai this weekend to announce the gsa appointment to the trade and media gathered on the occasion of Costa Deliziosa’s visit.

While Costa has been present in India for several years, servicing clients through a network of strong preferred agencies, the gsa move reflects a concerted effort to tap into an emerging market that shows great potential and one which has likely been less impacted by the Concordia capsize.

Costa said it has realigned its India strategy to gain more focus and control and implement stronger sales and marketing initiatives.

Immediately the commercial focus will go toward the promotion of three-, four- and five-night cruises in the Mediterranean with Costa Atlantica during the upcoming Indian high season holidays of April, May and June as well as cruises of the same length in Asia served by Costa Victoria from ports like Shanghai and Singapore.

Rustico said Nalini Gupta, head of Lotus Destinations, has the ‘track record and experience in the Indian travel market to effectively strengthen our brand and grow both Costa’s market share and distribution network in a consistent and efficient manner.’

For her part, Gupta said it is an exciting time to be part of the cruise industry in India, adding that she sees the market size ‘increasing exponentially but also Costa benefiting from this growth largely because of their extensive network to exotic destinations, impeccable product, world-class entertainment and deep insight of customer service.’

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