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Virgin Voyages just dropped the news that it is raising commissions for travel advisors (aka First Mates) to 16% — permanently. John Diorio, associate vice president of North American sales for Virgin Voyages, explained the reasoning behind standardizing the once promotional commission, as well as other updates regarding booking incentives.
What prompted the update to the Virgin Voyages commission structure? How does the perfect 10 policy enhance it? The support we’ve received from our First Mates since launch has been overwhelming. However, during these unprecedented times, we have challenged ourselves to determine how to be a better partner to our First Mates as we prepare to launch in October. Our commitment to delivering an extraordinary experience begins with our First Mates, and based on travel advisor feedback, we are acting on the support needed by raising our commission to help them boost their bottom lines. This is a significant investment in our relationship, and we are fully committed to working with our travel advisor partners to see success.
Our 16% commission is here to stay, and it is not a limited-time offer. It is something advisors can count on, in addition to no non-commissionable fees (NCF).
Our 16% commission is here to stay, and it is not a limited-time offer. It is something advisors can count on, in addition to no non-commissionable fees.
Our First Mates also continue to earn a 10% commission [via our perfect 10 policy] on everything sold before their Sailor sails, with the exception of taxes and fees. So, when you put in the work of helping your clients customize their epic experiences by adding extras such as onboard credit, shore excursions, hotel stays, voyage protection, spa treatments and premium Wi-Fi access, they will be rewarded for that work. You even earn commission on selling a Bar Tab, which is our answer to a drinks package.
In what way do zero NCFs further benefit travel agents? Is this also new for the brand? Since our launch, we have never had NCFs. As we launched our brand, we did a lot of research with travel advisors, and this was one of their biggest pain points. Our First Mates are working hard to support our brand, and we did not feel it was right to set aside, deduct or exclude a portion of the voyage fare from advisors’ earning opportunities.
What onboard inclusions enhance the ship experience for clients themselves? First, it is important to know that our “On Us” inclusions are not a promotion. They are always available for our Sailors when they set sail with us. They include all food at our 20+ eateries, free basis Wi-Fi access, gratuities/taxes, basic beverages and group fitness classes. This is valued at over $600 in value per Sailor.
How is Virgin preparing to launch in October 2020? Over the next four months, we will continue to work closely with our First Mates to educate them on what makes our sailing experience unique, get them comfortable with our Voyage Well program and help them understand who is the right Sailor for our voyages.
As we get closer to sailing in October, we also understand the importance of our First Mates getting the chance to experience Scarlet Lady and we will be looking at planning our pre-inaugural events for those who are registered to do business with us on FirstMates.com.
The DetailsVirgin Voyageswww.virginvoyages.com