Norwegian Says Commissions Are Higher Than Ever


"We've spent the last seven months becoming one of the most, if not the most, inclusive contemporary brand," Norwegian President Andy Stuart tells Cruise Week.

"Being much more inclusive than we've ever been before has been fantastic news for travel agents," he continues. "Commissions have been higher than they have ever been before."
It's hard to break out the actual numbers for the Norwegian brand, as it is now combined with Oceania and Regent in NCLH. And like its publicly traded competitors Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean, NCLH does not break down commission per guest number across all of its brands; it's a single entity.
However, there are other indicators that commissions for North American retailers from Norwegian are rising and will rise even more moving forward.
NCLH now has a full year of Norwegian Getaway under its belt, which undoubtedly has had a positive effect. And Norwegian has been actively selling its newest ship, Norwegian Escape, arriving this fall. Commissions on sales for Escape have yet to be paid, since payment occurs after travel, but based on the positive financial reports by NCLH to Wall Street on Escape's booking patterns, it's looking good moving forward.
Stuart emphasizes that Norwegian's new and more inclusive pay structure creates what he calls a triangle of happiness:

"We're happy because we're not discounting the price. The travel agent is happy because their commission is not being undermined by price discounting. The guest is happy because they're getting a more inclusive experience. So its driving business earlier and I think it has been a very effective way to go to market."

No wonder more than 5000 retailers, a record high for Norwegian, signed up for a webinar earlier this month, in which Stuart and company went over in great detail the new Norwegian Star deployment and other itinerary changes for the next 18 months.
In terms of the big picture, Stuart notes, "As a brand, Norwegian is moving further afield. We've had a lot of demand from past guests for a broader range of itineraries." That’s seen as good news for agents, as cruisers tend to seek guidance for trips to exotic destinations.
Norwegian Star, in particular, will be operating heavily in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and the Gulf. The Star's global deployments are aimed at a global audience versus local sourcing. "We believe these itineraries will sell in North America, Europe, Australia/New Zealand," Stuart told Cruise Week. "These itineraries are not designed for Asians to see Asia."
Offering a wider range of itineraries, says Stuart, is facilitated by the expansion of the brand. "We took delivery of Norwegian Breakaway in 2013, Getaway in 2014, Escape in 2015, and three more are coming after that," says Stuart. "It's definitely important for us as a brand to have a diversified deployment for domestic and international markets.”

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