The Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Italy on January 13th and has caused, along with a devastating heartbreak, major waves in the cruise industry. The tragic crash of this ship has caused speculation about the competency of major cruise lines worldwide. It seems that there are not strict regulations on cruise lines as passengers may have assumed which has caused customers to question their safety and could affect the travel industry as a whole.

The uncertainty of safety has some consumers wary about booking a cruise for their next vacation. Many are looking at summer travel plans this time of year and are paying close attention to the recent Costa Concordia disaster. The winter months are often when travelers book their upcoming vacations, and many are reconsidering cruise plans for other alternatives. Until well known global cruise standards for safety procedures are established, consumers will continue to be cautious.

Amidst the global recession, a disaster like the Costa Concordia crash is not good for any industry. Crisis management is essential for any company after a public disaster. There are many examples of poor crisis management; the most recent one of course is the BP oil spill. BP’s management of the disaster was not well received by consumers, and gas prices rose as a result. The way that Carnival handles this tragedy will largely affect future profits and customer loyalty, as well as the cruise industry as a whole.

Businesses globally need to pay careful attention to these events simply to learn lessons. Businesses, like people, make mistakes. And how those mistakes are handled can determine the success or failure of the company. If your company makes a mistake, be gracious and apologize, then take extra precautions so your customers are ensured that it will not happen again. If the cruise industry can do this, they will be able to return to smooth sailing soon, otherwise the heartache will continue.

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