Costa Cruise Accident May Cause Ripple Effect on Other Cruise Line Brands

One-in-Three Americans Unsure Which Cruise Line Was Responsible In Mediterranean Tragedy

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Parsippany, NJ – January’s cruise ship accident off the coast of Italy is causing confusion amongst American cruisers. A recent poll from Ipsos shows that one in three Americans did not know which cruise line was involved in the reef accident near Isola del Giglio, the tiny island just off Italy’s Tuscan coast. Ipsos recently surveyed more than 18,000 Americans regarding the Costa Cruises accident that occurred off the Italian coast on January 13, 2012.

Listing dramatically to one side and resulting in several deaths and numerous injuries, the Costa Concordia was one of the most widely discussed cruise line disasters in recent memory. In fact, the Ipsos study showed that nearly all American respondents (93%) were aware of the accident on the Costa Concordia.

But despite the large amount of media coverage surrounding the incident, more than one-third of respondents (35%) were uncertain which cruise line was involved. Only a little more than half of all respondents aware of the accident actually associated it with Costa Cruises (32%) or its parent company, Carnival Cruise Lines (22%).

“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,” says Sheri Lambert, Travel & Leisure research specialist with Ipsos Loyalty. “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.”

Indeed, 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 - 13% say they plan to book in the next year, while 10% say they have cruised in the past two years.

However, there was evidence of some 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.

“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,” adds Lambert.

Methodology

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted February 8-15, 2012 on its Online Omnibus Screener. For the survey, a national sample of 18,358 of U.S. residents aged 18 and older from Ipsos’ Omnibus Screener were interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the U.S. adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Sheri Lambert
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Loyalty
Travel & Leisure
(610) 897-2070
sheri.lambert@ipsos.com

Or:

Kara Fisher
Senior Project Manager
Ipsos Loyalty
Travel & Leisure
(754) 263-2699
kara.fisher@ipsos.com

About Ipsos Loyalty

Ipsos Loyalty is the global leader in customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty research with over 1,000 dedicated professionals located in over 40 countries around the world. Our creative solutions build strong relationships which lead to better results for our clients. This has made us the trusted advisor to the world's leading businesses on all matters relating to measuring, modeling, and managing customer and employee relationships.

For further information contact your local Ipsos office, details at: www.ipsos.com/loyalty.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals. Ipsos helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world.

Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos has a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999.In 2010, Ipsos generated global revenues of €1.140 billion ($1.6 billion U.S.).

Visit www.ipsos-na.com to learn more about Ipsos offerings and capabilities.

Ipsos, listed on the Eurolist of Euronext – Comp B, is part of SBF 120 and the Mid-100 Index, adheres to the Next Prime segment and is eligible to the Deferred Settlement System. Isin FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP


Costa Cruise Accident May Cause Ripple Effect on Other Cruise Line Brands

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Contact

Sheri Lambert
SVP Travel & Leisure
Ipsos Loyalty
+1.610.897.2070
sheri.lambert@ipsos.com