RCCL Chief Touts Cruise-Selling As Antidote to Commission Cuts

By Fran Golden

BOSTON -- Richard Fain, chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd., said the latest reduction in agency commissions is further evidence of why retailers need to focus more on selling leisure products like cruises. At a news conference here, Fain predicted agents will do just that.

"From a cruise line point of view, I think I couldn't have had much better news," Fain told reporters aboard the U.S. inaugural cruise of the Enchantment of the Seas. Fain said agencies have "a much better assurance of the continued support of the cruise lines" than airlines, because agencies are "so critical" to the selling of the cruise product.

"I think we have been consistently, both as an industry and a company, the most stalwart partner of travel agencies," Fain said. And he said the move by United should "re-demonstrate to the agent community" how much more profitable selling cruises can be.

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