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TRAVELSAVERS Urges Royal Caribbean to Reconsider ThresholdsJune 5, 2008 By: George Dooley, David Eisen
Another travel agency group has come out swinging at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. after the cruise company, which operates the Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises brands, confirmed that in order for non-affiliated travel partners to maintain a 16 percent commission level, they would have to raise revenues from $1.25 million to $1.5 million in sales for the three brands.
It's the first time since 1999 that Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has raised its sales commission thresholds and we speculate that an increase in capacity has something to do with the decision.
TRAVELSAVERS, a major agency consortium, joined ranks with Vacation.com, another major agency group, questioning the cruise company's decision to increase sales thresholds. Jim Mazza, COO of Oyster Bay, NY-based TRAVELSAVERS urged them to reconsider.
"Although we understand and can appreciate the factors that led to this decision by the Royal Caribbean brands to increase their revenue thresholds, we don't feel that it was in the best interests of the travel agent community (who are their primary sellers) or the suppliers themselves, in the end,” Mazza said.
“The Royal Caribbean brands have demonstrated their support of travel agents in the past, and we encourage them to reconsider the impact of this or any future revenue restructuring. Cruising is still one of the best vacation values in the industry today, and with new ships being built each year, every supplier needs motivated travel agents pushing their product out into the marketplace, both to repeat and new cruise clients. Given the implications of the current economy, isn’t this the perfect time for cruise suppliers to strengthen, not diminish, their relationships with travel agents?" Mazza asked.
On Wednesday, Vacation.com’s Steve Tracas, president and CEO expressed disappointment with Royal Caribbean's move and reaffirmed the value of travel agents to Royal Caribbean and the industry. Visit www.travelsavers.com and www.vacation.com.