Traveler Editor on War's Effect

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Why is the cruise industry doing well?

Cruises are perceived to be safe. Unlike countries, cruise ships can move and be redirected to safer places, if necessary. And security is much better on cruise lines than it was before 9/11. For example, all cargo and luggage brought aboard ships are x-rayed for bombs. High-tech identification cards are now issued to all passengers and crew. And security guards monitor exactly when people leave the ship and return onboard. Visitors are not allowed on cruise ships and hulls are inspected more regularly. Behind the scenes, the cruise industry and the Coast Guard are working together so that they can act quickly and efficiently in the event of a new threat.

If you were to predict the state of the travel industry after the war, what would you say?

That's a tough question. Though the war is exacerbating the state of the travel industry right now, it's largely an economic problem. The war is sucking money out of the economy and it's going to continue to do so long after Saddam is gone, if he's gone. And so that's going to have a profound ripple effect not just on Americans traveling but on the whole world traveling.

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