Agents have been praised for supporting the cruise sector since the Costa Concordia disaster by promoting the industry’s safety standards.
Speaking to Travel Weekly one year on from the tragedy, in which 32 people were killed off the Italian coast, Royal Caribbean general manager Jo Rzymowska said the trade’s efforts were vital.
She said: “Agents played a key part in the fact that there has been limited long-term impact on bookings, sales or the reputation of holidays at sea.”
The industry has been making safety information more easy to access to help agents deal with clients’ queries, she said.
“While the overall cruise sector could always answer questions related to safety, in reality they were rarely asked during the booking process,” said Rzymowska.
“This information is signposted better so agents can find it more easily, answer any safety-related queries and reassure potential guests, if asked.”
David Dingle, chief executive of Carnival UK and a European Cruise Council member, said the tragedy had resulted in even higher safety standards.
Cruise lines said it was too early to comment on how well sales were going in this turn of year ‘wave’ period, but indications were positive.
Nathan Philpot, sales and marketing director for Fred Olsen, said: “Signs are hugely encouraging, with conversions up 83% on the Saturday of launch compared with last year.”
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