Member agents selling fewer cruises, NACTA says

By Kate Rice
The National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) says its independent agents are moving away from mainstream and mid-market cruises and toward higher-margin products such as all-inclusive vacations, luxury and river cruises, and FIT packages.

NACTA said agents are mitigating the impact of low cruise fares and non-commissionable fees (NCFs).
The association cited ASTA’s 2013 survey on NACTA membership, which showed that 60% of members’ business was cruises in 2010 but just 49% in 2013.

“Our research shows it has been a natural progression for our travel consultants to opt for the higher yielding sales of luxury and small-ship cruises, tours and FIT packages replacing the lower yielding cruise sales,” Ann van Leeuwen, NACTA president, told agents attending a conference of NACTA chapter directors in Jamaica.

Van Leeuwen said NACTA is developing more robust partnerships with luxury lines, all-inclusive resorts and tour operators that are tailoring their offerings to the desires of clients. These partners include Crystal Cruises, AMAWaterways, Paul Gauguin Cruises, Alaskan Dream Cruises, Scenic Tours and CroisiEurope.

“We are continuing to look for new partnerships that will increase client satisfaction, travel consultant productivity, sales and commissions,” said van Leeuwen.

Follow Kate Rice on Twitter @krtravelweekly. 
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