Regent Seven Seas has announced that it will pay commissions on port charges, government fees, and taxes on its 2010 cruise departures. The move removes almost all non-commissionable fees (NCF) for travel agents and is being highly applauded as it is a break from the traditional standards within the cruise industry.
“We congratulate Regent on this bold step to eliminate nearly all non-commissionable fees for travel agents,” says Jack E. Mannix, CTC, president and CEO of Ensemble Travel Group. “This strategy speaks volumes in support of the agency community, especially at this very crucial time in an agent’s short- and long-term profitability. We encourage other cruise lines to follow Regent’s move to eliminate NCFs from their business model.”
Chris Russo, president of ASTA, personally wrote a letter to Regent, saying: "This move is a bold departure from standard industry practice and one that clearly positions Regent as an industry leader. I commend you and the entire Regent team for taking the reins and publicly reaffirming the commitment between travel agents and cruise lines. At a time when we are all struggling to get a handle on a shaky economy, it's good to know that the important role travel agents play in cruise lines' sales distribution has not gone unnoticed."
The only remaining NCF on the luxury cruise line's sales will be air booked through the cruise line, Regent President Mark Conroy announced during its
top-producers meeting at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey.
The news comes shortly after Regent introduced its ultra-inclusive cruise pricing and said that it will offer free shore excursions to all cruises in 2010.