Princess Makes Change in Agent Pay Structure

LOS ANGELES -- Princess Cruises will adjust its commission structure for consortium-member travel agencies next year.

Starting Jan. 1, such agencies will earn the basic negotiated compensation rate on Princess sales but will earn overrides only when they have reached certain productivity plateaus. Incentive payments have been made routinely to all members, even those who sold virtually no Princess products, on the levels achieved by the cumulative sales of the group.

"We recognize that not all agents joined their consortium to sell Princess Cruises," according to Rick James, the line's senior sales vice president. "By going to this new formula, we hope to give them all an incentive to do so." The Princess executive said that rewarding producers for their own efforts, not those of others, was a perfectly sound business policy.

James said that he had discussed the company's plans with consortium heads and had encountered no serious opposition. "It's not as though we are taking a leadership role in operating on this basis," James said. "Consortia are used to working this way with many tour operators and even other cruise lines."

James added that, ultimately, the new structure likely would cost Princess as much as it does now.

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