The results, says SodaHead, demonstrate that the disaster may have a deep impact on the cruise industry. To put this in perspective, with an estimated 18.8 million people cruising in 2010, if 26% were going to change their cruise travel plans based on this disaster, that would mean the industry would see 4.9 million fewer cruisers.
Full results of the poll are available at SodaHead Costa Concordia poll
Of course, voting “less likely” doesn’t mean they won’t be on a cruise this year. A large number of them, come what may, will be will be packing their glad-rags for the usual reasons and head for the Caribbean, Alaska and elsewhere. But the repercussions for the cruise industry are ugly no matter how few decide against a cruise.
Additional findings of the survey show that the respondent’s age had an impact on their vote. While only 14% of respondents between the ages of 25-34 said the tragedy might impact their future cruise plans, a striking 34% of those over the age of 65 said that they are now less likely to cruise and many of the traditional cruisers are from this age group.
With cruise ships becoming ever bigger (some now carrying 6,000 passengers), the tragedy has focused attention on the International Maritime Organization’s new rules for passenger ship safety. A comprehensive package of amendments to the international regulations affecting new passenger ships came into force on 1 July 2010. Increased emphasis is now placed on reducing the chance of accidents occurring and on improved survivability, embracing the concept of the ship as “its own best lifeboat”, capable of returning to port in the event of a major mishap.