Concordia crisis the "new Brimble case"

Concordia crisis the "new Brimble case"
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The local cruise industry may have rebounded from the Costa Concordia tragedy but sales for the company at the centre of the controversy are still in free-fall, according to one of its Australian preferred sales agents.

Brett Dudley, founder and chairman of, said bookings have all-but dried up and are showing no sign of improvement. He declined to reveal figures but confirmed that one month on from the disaster sales remained “significantly” down.

“This could become the Costa equivalent of the Dianne Brimble case,” he said, a reference to the death on board the P&O ‘s Pacific Sky which almost bought the cruise line to its knees.

All promotional activity surrounding the visit of the Costa Deliziosa in Sydney on Sunday has also been cancelled, Dudley told Travel Today.

“Bookings will return for Costa but not any time soon,” he said. “Sales of all other cruise lines are strong. We had a good January and bookings in the month to date are well up on February last year. But Costa will be a lingering problem.”

Overall business for fell 10% in the seven days after the tragedy off the Tuscan coast but quickly recovered, he said. “It’s lucky that other cruise lines have not been too effected but Australians are resilient.”

On a positive note for Costa, Dudley said he has taken no cancellations for future voyages. But the longer the ship remains stranded — which could be several more months — the more brand damage could be done, he said.

“It will be sitting there, in the news and with people taking photographs,” he said.

Dudley also said Costa missed an opportunity to address the local trade at Saturday’s International Cruise Council awards. It sponsored a category but no one from Costa was on hand to present the award.

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