SAYONI BHADURI – Mumbai
Costa Cruises is looking at developing its numbers from India. Alessandro Bottaro, head Sales and Marketing, Mediterranean new markets, India, Africa, Middle East, Costa Cruises said, “We aim to have at least 10000 passengers coming from India this year. It is quite a number but we feel positive that we will achieve it with the kind of itineraries we have.”
Earlier this year Costa Cruises made Mumbai-based Lotus Destination their GSA for India. Discussing this association and expectation Bottaro said that they wish to maintain relationships built over the years, and at the same time look out for new ones. India is a big potential market for Costa Cruises. “Previously, the business from India was not structured, but now we are looking at creating consistency. We will be directly marketing our products and offerings here. This association will help us,” he said. The company has more than 78000 agents and more than 82 GSAs across the globe selling Costa Cruises. “For the company’s growth we do not look at a particular market, it is a global strategy for growth,” he added. The travel trade is still a main tool to reach the consumer.
Costa Cruises’ most popular voyages for India are the Dubai, Singapore and Mediterranean cruises. All the three, four and seven nights itineraries are popular with both MICE and individual travellers. Costa Cruises has in partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board launched two itineraries departing from Singapore which will enable guests to travel to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, onboard Costa Atlantica and Costa Victoria.