Consumer research carried out exclusively for Travel Weekly has found the impact on the market of the Costa Concordia sinking may be less than many in the industry feared.
A majority of 524 people polled over the weekend of April 20-22 by Explore Research said the disaster would make “no difference” to the likelihood of their taking a cruise.
While awareness of the tragedy was high, 64% said it made no difference. However, one in four (25%) admitted it made them “much less” or “a little less” likely to take a cruise.
Costa Concordia sank on January 13 after hitting rocks off the Italian coast, leading to the deaths of 32 passengers.
Significantly, the Explore research appears to counter the assumption that the new-to-cruise market would be seriously affected, although this group was most likely to respond negatively.
Among non-cruisers who responded to the survey, 53% said the likelihood of taking a cruise had not changed, 13% were “a little less likely” and 26% were “much less likely”.
Cruisers and potential cruisers were equally likely to not have been affected, with 68% in both categories saying it made no difference.
Potential cruisers were more likely to have been put off, with 24% saying it made them much less or a little less likely to cruise. The comparable figure for cruisers was just 13%.
Within age groups, younger respondents were most likely to say the disaster would put them off cruising, with just 54% of respondents saying it made no difference. This compared with 70% of 35 to 54-year-olds and 66% in the 55-plus age bracket.
Attitudes towards Costa Cruises were more hardened, with 47% of respondents saying the accident had negatively impacted their likelihood of taking a cruise with the line.
Of the 524 respondents 4% were regular cruisers and 15% had cruised before and were considering another. Just over one in five (22%) had no interest in cruising.
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