‘Carnival Cruise Lines’ brand not hit by Costa tragedy’, says MD

Perception of Carnival Corp’s flagship brand, Carnival Cruise Lines has not been hit by the sinking of the Costa Concordia, according to its managing director, with bookings now on the up after an initial “slight” drop.

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Bookings and cancellations at the cruise operator did drop in wake of the sinking of Carnival owned Costa Concordia two weeks ago, which has led to 13 confirmed deaths, but have since recovered, according to Carnival Cruise Lines MD for UK and Ireland, Adolfo M. Perez.

He says: “There’s been a slight affect on the core volume of our bookings, and we’ve had little to no cancellations. As time has gone by after the Costa Concordia tragedy we’ve definitely noticed that things are picking back up.”

He declined to say by what percentage bookings had shifted.

Carnival Corp, the world’s largest cruise operator, waited almost a week to suspend advertising across its portfolio, and is now looking to resume marketing activity for subsidiary, Carnival Cruise Lines, next month.

The brand has previously only used its travel agent partners and direct marketing campaigns to reach UK consumers; however it has brought on board creative agency, Karmarama, to boost its profile nationwide post Olympics.

Perez says: “We’re adopting an integrated approach to marketing to build our profile in the UK and will be focusing on convincing those people that package holiday takers that cruises are actual the best value holiday out there.”

He adds; “There’s so many brand activations happening in the run up to the Olympics that we felt that our messaging could get lost and so decided to wait until October 2012 before launching anything new.”

Analysts predict that the loss of Cost Concordia will reduce Carnival Corp’s earnings by $85 million ( £54m) to $95 million (£64m) for the year ending November 30.

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