Carnival modifies commission tiers

By Tom Stieghorst

Carnival Cruise Lines said it will make its first modification to commission tiers in 10 years, starting with sailings booked after Dec. 31, 2012.

Carnival said it will continue to pay additional commission based on sales volume rather than revenue, but it will introduce a new benchmark, net cabin volume, as a standard.

Carnival said 2013 commission tiers will be based on an agency's 2012 net cabin sales, and that it should have a total calculated for each agency by Feb. 1, 2013.

New commission tiers will reflect the following commission percentages for the number of net cabins sold:

• 10% for 0-49 cabins;
• 11% for 50-99 cabins;
• 12% for 100 to 199 cabins;
• 13% for 200 to 299 cabins;
• 14% for 300 to 399 cabins;
• 15% for 400 to 999 cabins;
• 16% for 1,000 or more cabins.

The cruise line said it will no longer set commisson percentages based on seven-day equivalent volume. Carnival said travel agents found that structure cumbersome and confusing.

A majority of travel agents will not see a change to their current commission level, Carnival said.

Carnival said the changes reflect its 50% capacity growth over the past 10 years, and brings its commission tiers in line with the marketplace.

"Most North American cruise brands have decreased capacity in the U.S. as they've substantially increased international sourcing and deployment, while Carnival remains focused on the U.S market," said Lynn Torrent, executive vice president for sales and guest services.

She said Carnival continues to support travel agent distribution by investing millions of dollars to grow the number of new cruisers and by providing agents with tools and training.

Carnival said it pays more commission to U.S. travel agents than any other cruise brand.

Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly. 

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