Virgin Voyages had previously announced an initiative toboost agent commissionsthrough the end of 2020, but recently increased its base commission offer to 16%, indefinitely.
The company said no portion of the base fare would be excluded from that commission, as part of its no-NCF (noncommissionable fare) policy, according toTravelWeekly.
The brand says it is all part of its commitment to help travel advisors, which it says are a critical entry point to its success, navigate the Covid crisis.
The line is also paying 10% on pre-cruise sales of shore excursions, hotels and spa treatments, items on which most cruise lines don't pay commission.
“We have listened to [travel agents] and they have told us what they need in order to be successful during this time,” said CEO Tom McAlpin in a statement. “In turn, we are investing in our relationship by increasing our commission structure to 16% and honouring their role as essential pillars of the travel community.”
But the fledgling cruise company hasn't had an easy time of hitting the water.
The maiden voyage of its first ship,Scarlet Lady, was supposed to be on 01APR from Miami to the Caribbean, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic by more than six months, now slated for 16OCT, 2020.
The original target market for the brand was hipsters, millennials and the LGBTQ community. But rumours of lagging sales are a possible explanation for the aggressive courting of the trade with a rich commission offer.
Even though Virgin Voyages has not yet officially welcomed its very first cruise ship, the brand's second vessel,Valiant Lady,was floated out last month, intending to debut in May 2021 barring any delays due to the global health crises. She was originally scheduled to be floated out in March 2020, according toMaritime Executive.
The new cruise line also has two other new cruise ships on order from Fincantieri scheduled to be delivered in 2022 and 2023.
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.