Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has told agents it has decided to “relax its approach” to policing discounting after feedback from the trade.
Travel Weekly understands that since the start of the year the operator had been closely monitoring pricing and threatening to act against agents who continued to discount.
Questions have been raised about the legality of this sort of approach, as Travel Weekly reported on January 24.
One cruise agent, who asked not to be named, said: “Royal Caribbean has relaxed the rules and are no longer policing what people do.”
She added: “I’ve not noticed any immediate upturn in discounting levels.”
Another claimed the change came after an agent challenged Royal Caribbean over the legality of its attempt to maintain prices in the market. Royal Caribbean denied this, saying the change was part of its “consultative approach” to trade relations after it reduced commission to 10% in January.
A spokeswoman said: “Based on some agency feedback we have decided to relax this approach.
“We have advised our agency partners and continue to work closely with them on promoting our brands.”
She added: “We encourage agents to continue to sell on value and maximise their earning potential. We are impressed with the results that our marketing campaigns, training and incentives have delivered and the enthusiasm from the trade.
“We will continue to invest significantly in driving consumer demand to agency partners, in addition to incentivising them directly.”
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