Alexandria, VA – In a letter to Mark Conroy, president of Regent Seven Seas, ASTA commended the cruise line for breaking from industry standard when it announced that it would begin paying travel agent commissions on port charges, fees and shore excursions in 2010. In doing so, Regent is eliminating nearly all of its non-commissionable fees (NCF).
With Regent’s announcement, ASTA calls upon all cruise lines to follow suit. “Actions such as this have been a long time in coming,” said ASTA President and Chair Chris Russo. “This is something for which the travel agent industry has long been lobbying, and I hope that other cruise lines will see the wisdom in Regent’s actions and take similar steps in the near future.”
In a separate letter to Regent, Russo said:
This move is a bold departure from standard industry practice and one that clearly positions Regent as an industry leader. I commend you and the entire Regent team for taking the reins and publicly reaffirming the commitment between travel agents and cruise lines. At a time when we are all struggling to get a handle on a shaky economy, it’s good to know that the important role travel agents play in cruise lines’ sales distribution has not gone unnoticed.
ASTA’s (American Society of Travel Agents) mission is to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. ASTA seeks a retail travel marketplace that is profitable, growing and a rewarding place to work, invest and do business.