Royal Caribbean Pays Out Record Commissions In First Half Of The Year

CruiseWeek

RCCL Chairman and CEO Richard Fain.

Royal Caribbean reported record second quarter earnings yesterday, but for travel agents the big news is that commission payments are higher than ever.

RCL paid out US$427 million in "commissions, transportation and other" for the second quarter, up 19% from US$358 million for the same period ending June 30 in 2018. Three months earlier,  RCL announced the commission indicator had climbed 25% for the first quarter of 2018.

Putting it together, for the first half of the year the "commissions transportation and other" bottom line for RCL totalled US$790 million, up 21% from US$649 million in the first half of 2018.

In a sign that the cruise line/advisor relationship is strong, both the second quarter figure and the half year figure represent record highs.

During his introductory comments on the Q2 earnings call, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman/CEO RIchard Fain complimented travel advisors for their ability to evolve and adapt.

"It's not just the cruise lines that are adapting and innovating," Fain told the financial community. "Travel advisors are our dominant distribution channel. And while the industry has grown and adapted, so too have our travel partners. The role of the advisor of today is as different from the travel agent of yesterday as the cruise industry of today is as different from the cruise of yesterday.

"It is no accident that this year even with significant industry supply growth and even with significant company supply growth, we are enjoying one of the largest levels of price increases. As our industry continues to adapt, the entire industry will continue to grow.”