Commission Protection By Lines A Bright Spot For Cruise Advisors
As cruise advisors dealt with countless customer calls and email questions this weekend, Cruise Week says the pulse of the business can be summed up as being in a world-encompassing category-five hurricane.
But as every day brings more challenges, the industry has found a bright spot in the commission protection programs being rolled out by various lines. Over the weekend, Travel Leaders Group publicly commended the cruise industry for protecting commissions for travel advisors on cancelled and rebooked sailings.
"This is a challenging time for the travel industry, to say the least,” said J.D. O’Hara, CEO of Travel Leaders Group in a release. “Hardworking travel advisor businesses have hit a downturn without [being at] fault. By protecting commissions, the cruise lines are signalling the value of the travel advisor as their business partner and are recognizing the tremendous efforts that travel advisors put into their client relationships.”
The statement continued, "Travel Leaders Group’s brands have proactively reached out to cruise supplier partners to discuss how travel advisors can best be supported during the coronavirus outbreak."
Agents told Cruise Week that outreach of that nature was essential to deal with cash flow issues. However, even with that help, some report there are painful layoffs taking place.
Here's an example of a comment from one national seller who was forced into layoffs after many, many years of operating a company that never had to do so, even after 9/11:
"It’s horrible, it’s very emotional, it’s rippling through as we speak. Still, there are still industries out there that have gone through worse, and we’re going to survive, we’re going to make it, it will be rough, it will be painful, but you do what you do when there’s a natural disaster; after it’s over you pick yourself up, and you rebuild.”