was Travel Agent Day, and I hope everyone took a moment to reflect on your
choice of profession and feel a sense of pride. I certainly am grateful to be
in the exciting world of cruising.
and perks aside, our goal in this business is to be profitable. But between
commission cuts and rock-bottom prices, sometimes we wonder how we can ever
a way - and that's by selling more cruises.
vacation is one of the most profitable products a travel agency can offer its
clients. With commission rates starting at 10%, or more if you belong to a
consortium, it already wins out over land products and airline tickets.
focus and dedication, increasing commission rates to 15% or beyond is certainly
realistic and attainable.
cruises, there usually are add-on components – airfare; pre or post hotels;
excursions; insurance. All of which can help increase your earnings per
With new ships on the
horizon, guests have lots of choices to suit their needs.
Cruises are perfect
for family looking for time together, or apart!
are perfect for groups – friends; families; weddings; meetings and incentives.
Cruise lines have rich group programs offering bonus commission and tour
conductor credits... more income opportunities for you.
short, it makes great financial sense for every agency to sell more cruises.
And I can confidently say that every agency has potential cruisers. If you have
clients who return from a resort complaining of hard beds, poor service, bland
and repetitive food choices.. you have cruisers. Clients who are exhausted from
multiple hotel stays and endless hours spent on a motor coach should be
cruising. Parents who want alone-time during their vacation while wanting a
quality children's program are ideal candidates.
is a safe bet for a great vacation experience. At the end of every sailing,
guests are asked to rate their experience. Statistically, the satisfaction rate
has been in the high 90s. No other form of vacation consistently receives such
surprisingly, according to stats published this year by CLIA, only 4% of North
Americans have cruised. This means there are huge opportunities for you to tap
into. And to help you land these clients and pave a pathway to profits, cruise
lines are marketing to new cruisers and are very supportive of agencies'
efforts to do so as well.
now and 2020, 33 new ocean and 22 new river ships will set sail, catering to
all budgets, tastes and demographics. This is a serious commitment to help you
grow this business.
fares are now more affordable than ever. 20 years ago, you could not book an
Alaska cruise for under $2,000 per person. Today, a cabin can be had for less
than 1/2 that price. This has certainly made cruising affordable to the mass
here about the lower prices, and the dreaded NCFs which are always hot topics
of discussion. While NCFs are controlled by cruise lines, industry authorities
such as ACTA and ASTA are lobbying on our behalf to address this important
matter, hopefully with positive results in the long run. In the meantime, aim
to sell ancillary products to compensate, or focus on the cruise lines that do
not break out NCFs.
focus on value - and educate your clients on this value - instead of price.
Sailings that offer incentives such as prepaid gratuities, beverage, dining
packages and shipboard credits, or all-inclusive cruises, provide a hassle-free
experience for your clients.
out there and tell the world to go on a cruise. It's good for your customers,
and great for your bottom line.
Trains, planes and
automobiles - selling cruise add-ons increases
Don't forget the room with
a view - a pre/post hotel boosts your clients'
enjoyment and your commission.
Tappin is a cruise veteran with 20 years' experience in the industry and has
sailed on 36 cruises and counting. Based in Vancouver, Ming is passionate about
cruising and has just launched Your Cruise Coach Consulting. Visit