After the coronavirus crisis, there may be fewer travel agencies due to consolidation and more advisors working from home, Royal Caribbean executives said on Monday. 

Vicki Freed
Vicki Freed

During a virtual media roundtable, Royal Caribbean International senior vice president of sales, trade support and service Vicki Freed, said, “None of us have a crystal ball but I think on the top end, you’ll see consolidation of retail locations,” she said. 

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean execs anticipate an increase in home-based workers, including independent contractors. 

“I think the home-based type of setup for travel advisors will likely grow even more than it was,” said Azamara COO Carol Cabezas.

Although she anticipates fewer travel agents working in retail locations, Freed indicated that the number of agents could be relatively unchanged post-coronavirus, although it could take some time to ramp up to that level.

“As we reintroduce cruising to so many people, I think in time they will grow their business back,” Freed said.

Royal Caribbean is guiding travel agents about relief options available to small businesses and individuals in the Cares Act. Royal Caribbean calls its education program RCL Cares, and the company launched the effort to help keep its sales force intact

“We want to make sure we have a healthy distribution system that is going to be part of our future,” Freed said.  

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