SuperBreak gets Superfestive in new agent campaign

SuperBreak gets Superfestive in new agent campaign

Thursday, 27 October 2016 11:00

Agents boo...

EVA Air offers autumn savings on its Kangaroo Route

EVA Air offers autumn savings on its Kan…

Thursday, 27 October 2016 08:00

EVA Air is celebrating an increased service on its ‘Kangaroo Route’ by unveiling autumn offerings on flights from Heathrow to Brisbane, Australia with return fares from £642 per person.

Vietnam addition from Thomson and First Choice

Vietnam addition from Thomson and First …

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 14:00

Thomson and First Choice have announced the introduction of Vietnam to the winter 2017 programme.

Ranch Rider adds authentic Arizona ranch for next year

Ranch Rider adds authentic Arizona ranch…

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 11:00

Keen to expand on its portfolio of authentic US ranches, Ranch Rider will be introducing Arizona’s Hideout Working Ranch in its 2017 brochure, which is situated near Portal near the...

Qatar Airways announces daily Seychelles flights

Qatar Airways announces daily Seychelles…

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 08:00

Qatar Airways will provide UK holidaymakers with greater access to the Seychelles from December 12 when it launches daily flights via Doha.

HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 14:00

HF Holidays is promoting a selection of winter getaway including a Christmas Craft Weekend at Dovedale in the Derbyshire Dales, Festive Walking At Dovedale, A Seasonal Stay at Malhamdale in...

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sale

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sa…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 11:00

Flybe has put more early release routes on sale as part of its preliminary summer 2017 schedule.

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Super Hostel’

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Su…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 08:00

A planning application has been submitted by YHA (England and Wales) to open its first Super Hostel in London.

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade plans at Bristol Airport

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade pla…

Monday, 24 October 2016 14:00

Following a major overhaul of the security search area for departing passengers, Bristol Airport has unveiled plans to address congestion in arrivals.

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen Z with new Geckos age-range

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen …

Monday, 24 October 2016 11:00

30 year olds will be ‘too old’ for Geckos Adventures next year, as the Intrepid Group has announced that it will cut the age range to meet a growing demand...

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits manage to wangle an upgrade

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits …

Monday, 24 October 2016 08:40

New research from has revealed that only 8% of British travellers have actually managed to secure a free upgrade for their holiday, with flight upgrades and hotel room upgrades...

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo expe…

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You has announced its largest investment to support the travel trade with the launch of 200 joint marketing events to promote solo travel.

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Many column inches in the trade press of late have been dedicated to the contentious issue of slashing agents’ commission on cruise sales. The world of cruising has undeniably become a cut-throat market, with web savvy travellers shopping around to get the best deal possible - haggling over every last penny and value add offer – and the growing influence of online review/community sites changing the way we research (and purchase) our trips. 

In order to survive, agents are discounting and giving away commission hand over fist whilst other industry figures call for a level playing field in the face of a fierce price war. Cruise giants Carnival – who sell 90% of its cruises through agents – led the way, boldly announcing their intention to reduce agent commission to 5% to discourage further discounting. Meanwhile TTA Worldchoice has called for members to switch-sell from Complete Cruise Solutions brands for following the same route.

Cruise is one of the tourism industry’s success stories, representing significant year on year growth. Latest figures from the Passenger Shipping Association show cruise passengers were up 6% in 2010, accounting for 11.7% of the total overseas package holiday market. However, the cruise marketplace is already highly confusing for the cruise holiday purchaser, with an enormous range of product and pricing options available. Commensurate with the commission war is the risk that agents will switch-sell to gain more attractive profits. This can only be to the detriment of the consumer, being pushed to rival brands simply so that agents can make more money. Surely this will lead to a growth in the number of complaints from travellers who feel they were sold the wrong product? If this becomes the norm, everyone misses out.

This ‘discounting culture’ needs to be confronted, commission levels set and collectively, as an industry, we must focus on the consumer and their cruise requirements to make sure they have the best possible cruise holiday experience. In the face of this huge growth market surely cruise lines need to be looking at a healthier distribution mix, rather than putting all their eggs in one basket with agents? It would be foolhardy to ignore other sales channels, such as direct online bookings and not to attempt to reduce distribution costs. The expediential growth of the internet for researching and booking (cruise) holidays, the emergence of price comparison sites and the increased influence of online community sites reflects a huge shift in consumer purchasing habits.


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