ASAP offers higher commissions, reduced deposits and incentives.
Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises have launched the Agent Support Action Program (ASAP), with higher commissions, reduced deposits and incentives to support travel partners through the Wave period in January and February.
"This economic environment is unprecedented, and our travel agent partners need our unprecedented support," said Vicki Freed, senior vice president of sales for Royal Caribbean International. "Like everyone, they are feeling the pain, and we need to help them through this."
Features include a 1 percent commission supplement on bookings for sailings from January 2009 through March 2010, a 50 percent reduction in deposits for FIT bookings and an individual agent booking incentive where agents can earn a complimentary cruise. For group bookings the lines provide a reduction on tour conductor credits from 1-for-16 to 1-for-10.
The company said the goal is not only to help agents during this difficult period but to preserve the health of the distribution channel and ensure that it is ready to take advantage of the upturn in business when it occurs.
"These are challenging times, but ours is a resilient business," added Freed.
The three brands will maintain their ongoing consumer marketing efforts to drive more business to travel partners, and already have extensive, ongoing educational tools that will be enhanced through the new program.
"We will continue to pursue consumer-driven initiatives, as well, but this is a strategic attempt to help our long-term partners who have a short-term challenge," said Dondra Ritzenthaler, senior vice president of sales for Celebrity and Azamara Cruises.