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OK prepares for effects from cruise ship disaster

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OKLAHOMA CITY — While the wreckage is halfway across the world, some Oklahomans are preparing to feel the effects of this weekend's cruise ship disaster off the coast of Italy. Given the scope of the disaster, it's fair to wonder if travel agents and cruise lines will see their sales plummet.

One local travel agent says people he's talked to won't let it keep them off the seas.

“You know, when a plane crashes people don't stop flying. An accident like this, people aren't going to stop cruising,” travel agent Dave Blew said.

Blew admits the disaster doesn't come at a good time for the cruise line industry.  

Because many travelers book their cruises early, this disaster coincides with the peak season for setting reservations.

“It is a busy time with people trying to book summer cruises, but it really hasn't had an effect,” Blew said. “We've had several people book cruises. Maybe one person mentioned something in passing.”

Despite the scary pictures, so far Dave hasn't heard from any would-be travelers canceling their plans.

Part of the reason the story is so shocking is because a cruise ship disaster of this scope is so rare.

The fact is, the cruise line industry does have a very good safety record over the last 20 years.

“This one instance, don't let it deter you from taking a cruise. It is a wonderful, wonderful vacation,” Blew said.

In the long term, most analysts like Dave agree people tend to have short memories about disasters.

The cruise line industry has seen tremendous growth over the last decade and it seems likely to continue.

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