Costa Cruises has launched a redesigned portal for travel professionals to help them become fully versed in everything related to Italy’s largest travel company. Costa Extra (www.CostaExtra.com), exclusively for U.S.-, Canada- and Caribbean-based travel advisors travel advisors, provides key information, courses and marketing materials to help agents become Costa Cruises experts.
The user-friendly interface includes a bright and organized homepage with a navigational tool bar, convenient cruise finder, the latest news and videos, a downloadable content search, access to Costa Academy and quick links for simple Costa Extra navigation.
“We redesigned Costa Extra with the goal of making it easier for travel advisors to learn everything they need to know about our brand so they can successfully sell Costa cruises,” said Scott Knutson, vice president of sales and marketing for Costa Cruises North America. “Travel professionals are the core of our business, and with the new and improved portal we’ve provided a go-to hub for agents to use when booking, planning and promoting Costa Cruises in the U.S. and Canada.”
The navigational toolbar at the top features four tabs: Booking Tools, News, Academy and Marketing Tools. The Booking Tools tab is organized in four sections: “Booking,” “Group,” “Report” and “Excursion.” The Booking section enables travel professionals to make and manage cruise and excursion reservations for individuals or groups, web check-in, a travel document search and a link to the agent-specific help desk. The Group section is where advisors can request invoices related to group trips, and the Report section allows travel professionals to pull operational reports about agency bookings. The Excursion section provides an easy way to search and book CostaTours for individual clients or groups.
The News tab features press releases, blog posts and videos with the latest Costa developments and brand enhancements. The Academy tab is where travel agents can access fun and engaging online courses to improve their understanding of Costa, increase their cruise sales and become Costa-certified travel professionals. At the Academy, travel advisors have the ability to track their progress and reach training milestones.
The Marketing Tools tab features two sections: “Marketing Box” and “Media Center.” Marketing Box has a design tool where travel advisors can create personalized brochures, flyers, posters, newsletters, vouchers, banners, invitations and social media posts in just a few clicks. Media Center redirects agents to the Costa Press Center’s press releases, media library and contact information for public relations representatives.
Prominently at the top of the homepage is a booking tool where travel agents can easily search for cruises by date range, destination, departure port, ship, fare and display prices.
The “Latest News” section on the website offers quick access to recent press releases, blog posts, articles and videos that familiarize travel professionals with the Costa brand. In addition, a “Library” menu on the homepage provides easy access to a rich collection of downloadable content that travel professionals can use to learn more about the cruise line, promote the brand and plan cruises for clients, including deck plans, beverage packages, pricing, special needs, the Samsara spa menu and Costa branding.
The homepage also features an “Academy” area where travel agents can learn more about Costa Academy, browse through Frequently Asked Questions and create an account to begin the courses.
For direct contact with Costa, the bottom of the homepage includes call center phone number information.