Costa Cruises has recruited a senior Disney executive to spearhead its sales and marketing against a background of booming social media.

Norbert Stiekema, currently senior vice president sales and distribution for Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line in the EMEA region, is due to join the Carnival Corp-owned Italian line on March 28.

He will take up the position of executive vice president responsible for global sales covering Italy, France and Benelux, Spain and Portugal, Germany, UK, North and Central America, South America and Asia-Pacific.

The change in structure has come due to new digital distribution channels and the boom of social media, Costa said. Stiekema will report to Costa president Gianni Onorato.