On Wednesday, we reported in Cruise News Daily that the brands of Carnival Corp would cease paying commission to travel agents on air add-ons. In preparing the article, we checked with the two largest multi-brand cruise companies in the US, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, and neither could even muster a "no comment" during the afternoon. That probably meant they were caught totally by surprise and really needed to think out their positions.
MSC USA is obviously committed to the agency distribution system for their products because just a few minutes ago, they became the first competing brand in the US to speak out on the issue when they issued this statement:
“MSC Cruises is a proud supporter of the travel agent community. It is our intent to grow business together and share our success with our agent partners,” says Richard E. Sasso, President and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA).
“We have always supported travel agents with an unprecedented commission structure and will continue to do so. In addition to the already high-level commissions we offer on the cruise portion, MSC Cruises demonstrates our support by offering 10% commission on air, 10% on pre-booked shore excursions and 10% on pre-booked spa packages,” Sasso continues.
“When it comes to working with travel agents, you can be assured that MSC Cruises will continue to be an innovator. We will continue to offer a commission structure and programs designed to help you profit,” he adds.