|CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. HQ in Fort Lauderdale. // Photo by Susan J. Young|
Despite the drama of the Costa Concordia accident and its visual aftermath, CruiseOne and sister company Cruises Inc. report that their Wave Season cruise sales for Jan. 14-16 -- the three days immediately following the accident -- were up nearly 6 percent versus sales during the same three-day period in 2011.
“While any crisis situation creates an immediate reaction from consumers, we anticipate that this will not negatively impact our Wave Season bookings,” believes Dwain Wall, senior vice president and general manager, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc.
Wall said it's unlikely his groups will experience cancellations as most CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. customers are educated travelers who understand that cruising is still a safe way to vacation.
“This is certainly a very sad tragedy, but we believe the impact will be short-term and that consumers will continue to book cruise vacations," he emphasized. “The cruise industry is incredibly resilient, as we’ve seen in the past, and I firmly believe people will see this incident for what it was, which is a rare accident."
Wall said he also doesn't anticipate the accident having a huge impact on the two brands' sales and marketing strategies. Both brands, part of the World Travel Holdings family, will continue to emphasize in their marketing - as they do now - that cruising is a safe way to travel.
“Historically, cruising is one of the safest forms of vacation travel, but it is incidents like this that can help improve regulations," Wall said, noting that any accident can provide valuable feedback to further enhance safety in the future.
Wall stressed: "At the corporate level, we will continue to ensure our agents stay informed on any changes in regulation that stem from this [accident], so that they can maintain their position as local experts in the field."