Royal Caribbean looked at investing more resources into
direct sales before deciding to hire additional salespeople for travel agent
support, said Vicki Freed, the cruise line's senior vice president of sales,
trade support and services.
"When we were talking about 2019 -- and we have
explosive growth at Royal Caribbean -- what should the distribution look like?"
Freed said. "Should we double down on direct? Should we double down on
travel agent business? And we made the decision to double down on the travel
Among the new hires will be two specialists who will focus primarily
on supporting hosted independent contractors, a model Royal Caribbean is
In addition, in its 2019 business plan the line has budgeted
for 16 sales personnel who will focus on travel agent channels. The plan also calls
for a multimillion-dollar support investment -- funding company cars, travel
and entertainment spending, and other items that will enable Royal Caribbean to
shrink the sales territories that business development managers cover.