Read us | Listen to us | Watch us | Join Live Events | Turn Off Ads | Live |

Click on your language to translate this article:

Afrikaans Afrikaans Albanian Albanian Amharic Amharic Arabic Arabic Armenian Armenian Azerbaijani Azerbaijani Basque Basque Belarusian Belarusian Bengali Bengali Bosnian Bosnian Bulgarian Bulgarian Cebuano Cebuano Chichewa Chichewa Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Corsican Corsican Croatian Croatian Czech Czech Dutch Dutch English English Esperanto Esperanto Estonian Estonian Filipino Filipino Finnish Finnish French French Frisian Frisian Galician Galician Georgian Georgian German German Greek Greek Gujarati Gujarati Haitian Creole Haitian Creole Hausa Hausa Hawaiian Hawaiian Hebrew Hebrew Hindi Hindi Hmong Hmong Hungarian Hungarian Icelandic Icelandic Igbo Igbo Indonesian Indonesian Italian Italian Japanese Japanese Javanese Javanese Kannada Kannada Kazakh Kazakh Khmer Khmer Korean Korean Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kyrgyz Kyrgyz Lao Lao Latin Latin Latvian Latvian Lithuanian Lithuanian Luxembourgish Luxembourgish Macedonian Macedonian Malagasy Malagasy Malay Malay Malayalam Malayalam Maltese Maltese Maori Maori Marathi Marathi Mongolian Mongolian Myanmar (Burmese) Myanmar (Burmese) Nepali Nepali Norwegian Norwegian Pashto Pashto Persian Persian Polish Polish Portuguese Portuguese Punjabi Punjabi Romanian Romanian Russian Russian Samoan Samoan Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic Serbian Serbian Sesotho Sesotho Shona Shona Sindhi Sindhi Sinhala Sinhala Slovak Slovak Slovenian Slovenian Somali Somali Spanish Spanish Sudanese Sudanese Swahili Swahili Swedish Swedish Tajik Tajik Tamil Tamil Thai Thai Turkish Turkish Ukrainian Ukrainian Urdu Urdu Uzbek Uzbek Vietnamese Vietnamese Xhosa Xhosa Yiddish Yiddish Zulu Zulu

‘Dodgy dot.coms’ blamed for cruise discounting

Agents have demanded operators stamp out rampant discounting in the cruise industry by clamping down on commission rebating by “dodgy dot.coms”.

At this week’s UK Cruise Convention, lines were confronted by agents who complained they were being priced out of the market by online agents using preferential deals to trash the market.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Agents have demanded operators stamp out rampant discounting in the cruise industry by clamping down on commission rebating by “dodgy dot.coms”.

At this week’s UK Cruise Convention, lines were confronted by agents who complained they were being priced out of the market by online agents using preferential deals to trash the market.

Agents told TTG that lines had plenty of late ex-UK stock to sell following a 40% rise in capacity this year, ships were sailing with empty cabins, and there were deals for as little as £800 for two weeks in the Mediterranean.

One leading line also said the credit crunch in the US was causing customers to cancel when their payment was due, prompting lines to dump distressed stock in the UK.

Future Travel homeworker Jenny Jackson said: “The whole industry is being devalued by the heavy discounting, and it’s got to stop.

“We need to keep prices up, stop discounting and stop selling to dodgy dot.coms,” she said.

Advantage member Paul Stowe, Stowaway Travel owner, estimated he had lost up to 30 regular P&O Cruises customers to online
competitors due to discounting.

Peter Shanks, Carnival UK chief commercial officer, said UK law meant lines cannot determine what price agents sell their cruises for and that agents with the largest volumes will always be offered better commercial terms.

He said smaller agents should focus on offering customers added value, not the biggest discount.

“The market grew by 11% in 2007 and prices went up 3%. As the market grows you get more of everything – you get more last-minute beds, but average values are going up.”

Seamus Conlon, managing director of cruise.co.uk – not one of the accused online discounters – said he could not afford to trim margins due to big advertising costs.

“Yes, lines offer 10-15% commission, but if you keep it all you are doing very well,” he said. “There are big competitors, such as Thomas Cook, who have a standard discount policy. You can compete with that in several ways. We compete by the weight of our advertising.”

ttglive.com

Print Friendly, PDF & Email