If the number of travel advisors invited on two recent Wonder of the Seas sailings is any indication, Royal Caribbean International remains committed to the travel trade, writes Managing Editor, Ann Ruppenstein in the latest issue of Canadian Travel Press.
The cruise line welcomed over 3,000 registrants on a Dec. 7 cruise from Port Canaveral and approximately 4,000 on the Dec. 9 naming ceremony sailing, both of which featured a visit to Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in The Bahamas.
“Professional travel advisors play such an important role in our success. We are seeing the trade has really come back strong,” Vicki Freed, senior vice president of sales, trade support and service for Royal Caribbean International, tells Canadian Travel Press. “Most people think it’s so easy to book a vacation on the internet but it’s not easy and our product for sure is not easy. I think that gives the travel professional the confidence to know that they have a role when it comes to selling Royal Caribbean.”
In fact, travel trade sales have been so strong over the past few months that bookings surpassed what was budgeted in terms of commission.
“We’re going to be way over budget because trade is outperforming but that’s okay. That’s a good thing. If you don’t have the demand from the trade, then our pricing goes down.”