The cruise industry is geared up to speak with one voice when the Costa Concordia disaster returns to the headlines, delegates at the Ace Columbus Day conference were told today.
Jo Rzymowska, Royal Caribbean UK general manager, opened the day-long event in Birmingham with a review of the year, offering a positive outlook for growth in the sector in the future.
She said since the sinking of the Concordia in January when 32 people were killed, the cruise industry globally has come together to communicate the value and safety of the sector.
Spokespeople have been appointed in each of the major cruise regions of the world and bulletins have been issued whenever new safety regimes, like compulsory pre-departure drills, are announced.
“The key thing is we speak together and speak together with one voice in the industry, and continue to reassure the consumer of the level of attention to detail given to ensuring the safety and security of our crew and our guests.
“We have worked hard to ensure we can react as one global industry when issues occur. We are ready when news occurs; when the captain goes on trial and the anniversary of the event. We will ensure we speak as one via our spokespeople.”
Rzymowska added it was reassuring to find that market research since the sinking has suggested that the impact of the disaster was short-lived and had not unduly hit consumer confidence.
Keynote speaker Adam Goldstein, Royal Caribbean Cruises president, who flew in for the event overnight from Bermuda, said he had been heartened by how the trade helped the industry get the message across that cruising is safe.
“This is an industry that has an exceptional safety record and we are a product range that consumers can buy in confidence,” he said.
“And while we have always understood the value of the travel agent in this industry across all our markets, I would say that in 2012 we saw the most effective statement that distributors have ever made that they can deliver this message in a compelling way.”
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