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Costa Concordia still making waves: Ipsos

The Costa Concordia accident that took place off the coast of Italy’s Isola del Giglio on Jan. 13 of this year is causing confusion amongst American cruisers according to a recently released survey by Ipsos. That survey canvassed over 18,000 Americans about the Costa Concordia sinking and found that one in three of them didn’t know which cruise line was involved in the incident. Ipsos found that while 93% of U.S. respondents were aware of the disaster, 35% of those questioned were uncertain which cruise line was involved — despite the massive amount of media coverage the event attracted. In fact only just over half (32%) associated it with Costa Cruises or its parent company, Carnival(22%). Sheri Lambert, travel & leisure research specialist for Ipsos Loyalty, observed of the findings: “With so many people unable to accurately name the cruise line involved in the incident, there is the potential for other cruise lines to experience a negative halo effect.” However Lambert continued that: “Even in light of the recent cruising incidents involving Carnival passengers being robbed during an excursion in Mexico and a power failure causing a Costa ship to drift in the Indian Ocean, I don’t think cruisers will stop boarding their favorite ships, as evident when the cruise industry continued to see growth when other tourism decreased greatly following the 9/11 attacks.” In this respect, the Ipsos study shows there appears to be little impact on plans to book a cruise vacation in the near future. A similar number of Americans plan to book a cruise in the coming year as in recent years – with 13% saying they plan to book in the next year, while 10% say they have cruised in the past two years. Yet there is still some evidence of hesitation surrounding the entire cruise industry. Among those who indicated they would probably not or would definitely not plan a cruise in the next year (67%), one in six indicated this was a direct result of the Costa Concordia accident. Said Lambert: “From a communications point of view, it may be the case that cruisers need additional reassurance from the authorities that they are not being unduly victimized and shouldn’t feel as such. More dialogue with the media is needed to reassure them that all due care is being taken.” Go to http://www.ipsos.com for more.

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