Royal Caribbean Group will make $40 million available to give travel advisors interest-free loans of up to $250,000 to help keep their businesses afloat.
The Pay It Forward program, which will offer three-year loans to qualifying agencies, is part of what Royal calls the second phase of its RCL Cares program to support travel advisors this year. In April, Royal Caribbean launched RCL Cares to help advisors navigate the Cares Act through one-on-one assistance from its sales teams.
"We know our travel advisor friends are suffering, too, and we will get through this tough period together, just as we always have," said Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean Group's CEO. "Our travel partners have stood strong beside us for more than 50 years, and we are determined to be there for them now. We're going to get to the other side of this challenging time together."
Royal said Pay It Forward is meant to support travel advisors "as they look to rebuild their businesses after a challenging 2020."
The program makes a $40 million pool of funds available to qualifying travel advisors, who can apply for three-year, interest-free loans of up to $250,000 to keep their businesses focused on a return to growth.
"The pause in cruising has put a financial strain not only on cruise lines, but on travel agencies large and small," Royal said in a statement. "And while there is optimism that the travel industry will recover strongly post-pandemic, businesses still need financial wherewithal during this intervening period of slower-than-usual business."
The company said details about the application process for the program would be shared directly with travel advisors in January.