Cruise

“Fortune favours the bold”: NCL boss urges agents to double down

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) president and CEO Harry Sommer believes there is a golden opportunity right now for travel agents to get on the front foot and “make a name for themselves”.

Speaking at Travel DAZE earlier this week, Sommer (pictured above) said that with the agent population shrinking due to the impacts of COVID-19, he expects to see “a few bold people out there” capitalise on having less competition.

“There’s a proverb that I’ve heard that fortune favours the bold, and I think it’s times like this that there are going to be a few bold people out there that are going to say there is an unprecedented opportunity with some travel agencies either going out of business or perhaps exiting the cruise, or shifting their focus to something else, that people that are a little bit bold can really make a name for themselves and can really make a huge success,” he said.

“My first foray into trade was right after 9/11. It was the worst period for travel up until this last year in the history of travel.

“I had a partner and we said, ‘If there would be an opportunity to get in on the ground floor where you can get great people who perhaps had jobs and don’t anymore, and get the ear of travel providers, this is the time’.

“So, if there are bold people out there, this is probably the best time in this generation to double down, expand and make a mark.”

NCL’s managing director for the Asia Pacific, Ben Angell, echoed Sommer’s message to agents.

“As confidence grows amongst consumers, trade needs to be ready to capitalise, and to capitalise with that point of difference,” he said.

“We’ve seen it happen in the US as the recovery really unfolds, we’ve seen it in the UK where, all of a sudden, demand’s spiking to levels you couldn’t have imagined a month or so prior.

“Keep your eyes open and keep ready, and work with us on what you need to be ready to capitalise as demand comes back.”

Ben Angell

Angell also warned agents against waiting for prices to drop, given the current high volume of bookings that NCL and other cruise lines are witnessing.

“If there’s one message for that I’d like travel agents to take away from this, it is that with cruise lines in general booking at higher volumes than ever before and further out than ever before, anyone sitting [and] expecting prices to drop closer in or waiting to see what happens closer in will be disappointed,” he told Travel DAZE attendees.

“If we don’t get in and book early, there’s going to be less capacity, there’s going to be higher price points and rising price points, so we really need to get in and make those bookings now for 2022 and even 2023.”

During their Travel DAZE session, Sommer and Angell talked about NCL has continued to innovate, invest since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, spurred on by the opportunity to grow brand awareness while others were consolidating.

The NCL bosses also shared the leadership lessons they’ve learned throughout the pandemic, and said they were hopeful of welcoming Aussie guests back on its ships early next year.

You can watch Sommer and Angell’s Travel DAZE session in full, on demand HERE.

 


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Ukrainian airline scraps heels and tight skirts for comfy suits and sneakers

SkyUp Airlines has given its cabin crew uniform a modern update that ditches tight fit, restrictive clothing and high heels for something a bit more suited to the job.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Intrepid snares majority stake in New Zealand’s Haka Tours and ANZ Nature Tours

The global travel B Corp has kicked off its future growth plans with a 60 per cent slice of not one, but two touring brands.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Clive Palmer offloads Qantas shares in protest of airline’s staff vaccination policy

by Ali Coulton

Looks like the mining magnate has taken a break from tweeting his famous Tim Tam poems to shake his fist at the flying kangaroo’s vax policy.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Guests forced to hide as heritage-listed hotel break-in causes $30,000 in damage

A group of people have broken down the door of a historic Kalgoorlie hotel, terrorising guests and forcing one woman to hide in a wardrobe.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Get excited, because the European Showcase is coming to a screen near you!

With international borders on the verge of reopening and hype around overseas travel at an all-time high, this event couldn’t have come at a better time!

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

“We can’t live here in hermit kingdom”: NSW to ditch quarantine for international arrivals from 1 November

The big policy shift means that NSW is the only Aussie state to announce quarantine-free international travel.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean axes Ovation of the Seas’ Aussie sailings until end of March 2022

With no clear pathway toward a resumption of cruising in sight for Australia, the cruise giant has canned its domestic sailings once again.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas to add new routes from Darwin to Far North Queensland

Qantas seems to have a penchant for the Top End at the moment. This time, the flying kanga is boosting connectivity across northern Australia with a couple of new routes.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

“Bugger Byron Bay”: Cowra Tourism invites Chris Hemsworth for a visit in delightful new campaign

In this brilliant video, Cowra pulls out all the stops in an attempt to lure the A-lister to stop by, have a “chin wag” and “get on the sauce”. The town even wants to build a four-story statue in his likeness.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Princess Cruises welcomes aboard new president

Princess Cruises has a new president. One could even say the Carnival-owned line has found its prince.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

“We have a front-row seat to the climate disaster”: Intrepid CEO urges ScoMo to “go all in” at COP26

The adventure travel company is calling on the PM to commit to at least halving emissions by 2030 and an immediate end to new coal power development. Let’s just hope Prince Charles can convince him to attend.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Air New Zealand to transform Boeing 787 into vaccination clinic for special ‘Jabaseat’ flight

A handful of lucky Kiwis will get their COVID-19 jab in a business-class cabin on Saturday as part of a national push to boost the country’s vaccination numbers.

Share

CommentComments