Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that it will be cutting its base commission to 10%, effective from 1 January 2013.
The decision comes just a week after Royal Caribbean Cruise Line brought the commissions down for its brands, Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, to 10%.
The move has been made in an attempt to ensure a more open field for the UK trade and is part of Norwegian’s ‘Partner First’ philosophy. Through the commission cut, the firm announced through a statement, it hopes to develop a fairer environment with “greater price parity, less confusion for customers and an increase in the number of agents selling cruise”.
Francis Riley, vice president and general manager international for Norwegian Cruise Line said, “By amending our commission rates, we believe this will help bring a stop to the discounting culture that is currently widespread in the UK cruise market. We hear daily from customers about the confusion and uncertainty of what, where and when to book. We believe the revised business model, developed with our trade partners in mind and in discussions with them, is an investment in the future success and earning potential of travel agents.”
Riley added: “Moving to 10% and putting in place policies to police the rebating will help to attract new travel agents to the market who in the past have felt they were unable to compete with the big discounters. One of the cornerstones of driving incremental demand for our product is in building travel agent advocacy and having travel partners excited about selling Norwegian Cruise Line. With our recent announcement of another new ship joining the fleet with an option for a second ship, travel agents are and will continue to remain the lifeblood of Norwegian and I sincerely hope this move will make it fairer and more profitable for travel partners overall.”
The new policy will come into place from 1 January 2013.