Carnival UK Move Doesn't Impact U.S. Agent Commission

In a rather confusing situation, Carnival UK -- the umbrella group for U.K.-focused brands of Carnival Corp. -- announced changes in its commission structure for United Kingdom agents this week. The result is a reduction in commission for those U.K. based agents. 
 
But media on both sides of the Atlantic picked up the story. U.S. agents immediately wondered what was up? Should agents worry that their commission also will be reduced? After talking to several cruise line sources, it appears "no."
 
First, it's important to mention that this situation has nothing to do with Carnival Cruise Lines, the contemporary brand with headquarters in Miami. One point of confusion is that Carnival UK is the umbrella organization for P&O, Princess Cruises and Cunard Line. But it doesn't represent Carnival Cruise Lines, which is represented in the U.K. by another group.
 
A Carnival Cruise Lines trade spokeswoman confirmed with Travel Agent that the line received some calls from agents wondering what was happening. But she stressed that the line isn't involved in any way with the U.K. commission cut situation. She also said that pricing changes Carnival Cruise Lines made in the U.S. market last summer to reduce rebating are working and that the line is making no commission reductions.
 
Travel Agent also talked to Julie Benson, a U.S. spokeswoman for Princess Cruises and Cunard Line, about whether the Carnival UK model for commission reduction will extend to her brands for sales by U.S. travel agents? She too said, "no."
 
Benson stressed: "This move is specific to the UK market which has a very different landscape to North America.  We have no intention of changing our approach in North America."

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