Skift Take

Virgin Voyage's decision to charge high fares that include gratuities, premium dining, and other onboard features means higher earning potential for travel advisors. That's because advisors often lose out when cruise lines offer cheap fares, and then make up for it with onboard, non-commissionable charges.

Whether you are a home-based travel advisor or you work in a large office servicing high-profile accounts, the Travel Advisor Innovation Report will have you covered with the trends, news, and features you’ll need to stay on top of an ever-changing marketplace.

Virgin Voyages, which started its sales to the public last week, is not bashful about its pricing, but that could be good news for travel advisors. When the cruise line starts service in April 2020, a five-night cruise that includes Havana will start at $3,650 per cabin. However, that price will include most of the onboard experiences, including dining, gratuities, and Wi-Fi.

This is a marked contrast to the industry trend for cruise lines, especially at the mass market level, to entice passengers with cheap fares and then nickel-and-dime them with charges (mostly non-commissionable) once they get on board. So advisors stand to benefit from higher commissions, plus gain the ability to offer a new product that may appeal to clients who don’t normally take cruises. For more about Virgin Voyages’ travel agency program, click here.

Also on the high-priced front, a new survey of Australian travelers shows that, despite the country’s weakening economy, demand for luxury vacations is strong. Australian travel advisors are benefitting from the trend, crafting customized experiences and providing the kind of high-touch service this segment requires.

For more coverage of pertinent issues, click here.

Any suggestions for the coverage you would like to see are welcome. Feel free to contact me at [email protected].
— Maria Lenhart, Travel Advisor Editor

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Skift Travel Advisor Editor Maria Lenhart [[email protected]] curates the Skift Travel Advisor Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Tuesday. Have a story idea? Or a juicy news tip? Want to share a memo? Send her an email.


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Tags: australia, cruises, travel advisor innovation report, travel agents, virgin voyages

Photo credit: A rendering of a cabin on a Virgin Voyages ship. The cruise line is offering premium pricing on its sailings. Virgin Voyages

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