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Costa Concordia to deal financial blow to cruise industry

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Costa Concordia to deal financial blow to cruise industry

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The deadly Costa Concordia accident is likely to further damage the cruise ship industry which was already struggling with an uncertain economy.

The boss of CruiseCompete.com, a website that offers deals on cruises, said the video of a half sunken ship and interviews with passengers telling of harrowing escapes will inevitably hit bookings.

He added that a drop in demand for cruise holidays would quickly lead to lower prices as operators hate to sail with empty cabins.

That would reduce profits with the Costa Concordia’s owner Carnival worst affected.

Before this accident the cruise market was forecast to be worth around 27 billion euros this year, with a record just 20.3 million passengers who would likely spend about 12 billion euros at their ships’ ports of call.

The travel news website Travelpulse.com said travel agents it had spoken to reported that just over a third of customers who had booked a cruise this year had so far called with concerns and only about 10 percent of those people had cancelled their holidays.

However industry experts say the accident could tarnish its image and scare off potential future customers.