CLIA VP of Membership and Trade Relations Charles Sylvia has shared some interesting numbers with agents.
First, Sylvia reported that 25.8 million people worldwide booked a cruise in 2017, with 72% of those travelling in the mainstream and premium segment booking their cruise through a travel agency.
The number jumps big-time for the luxury segment, with 93% booking with a travel agency. "Luxury is defined by CLIA as a cruise that costs $500 dollars per person per day or more," reports Sylvia.
Sylvia then turned to a different set of numbers. "I've been a travel agent for 24 years and worked with CLIA for the past four," he said. "The first day I walked through CLIA's doors as an employee, the first thing I said was, "We are going to fix the bonus commission program."
He explained that CLIA was paying only about 38% of the bonus commission coupons that were submitted. "So, we sat down with the cruise lines, and we looked at it, and we both said, `We want this program to succeed.'"
Sylvia found that the cruise lines were more than willing to fix the problem. "They wanted to really dive deep. And you know what, ladies and gentlemen? In 2017, of all of the bonus commission coupons that were redeemed, 96.3% were paid."
He added "Thank you for hanging in there with us because I used to never even redeem the bonus commission coupons when I was selling. Now I encourage you to redeem them."
And if you do get a rejection, Sylvia says it is usually found to be a clerical error.
"We had 51 people reach out to us last year, saying that their bonus commission was rejected," he reported. "We got 49 of them paid by reaching out to the cruise line. CLIA members in need of help with a rejected bonus commission payment should email Bonus Commissions@cruising.org. We will get them sorted out.”