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

Destinations

Qld closes border to NSW, WA reinstates hard border with SA, trans-Tasman bubble suspended, and Victoria calls for “ring of steel” around Sydney

Yes, we got a bit carried away with the headline, but there has been A LOT going in in the last 24 hours that you all should be fully aware of.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Carnival Cruise Line’s longstanding Aussie VP exits, replacement named

Carnival’s Jennifer Vandekreeke has hailed herself a water taxi and headed back to shore. We’re going to assume the fare was pretty expensive.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

The Star pulls Crown merger proposal over Royal Commission “issues”

by Huntley Mitchell

The future of James Packer’s casino empire is looking bleaker by the minute, with The Star no longer interested in teaming up.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

New data reveals the COVID jab that will get you the most stamps on your vaccine passport

When it comes to international travel, it’s becoming clear that not all COVID-19 vaccines are created equal. However, this new data might just surprise you.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Domestic border restrictions force Rex to cut capacity

And, to make matters even more complicated, the airline is expecting a couple more aircraft to join its domestic fleet very soon.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

“Michelin Guide” of home sharing knocks back 97 per cent of hosts who apply

The homes listed on this new Airbnb competitor’s website are far more attractive than most people we know. Then again, we’ve not been getting out much lately.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Almost 75pc of Carnival’s fleet to be operational by end of 2021

The world’s largest cruise company is gradually getting some meat back on its bones, but it won’t quite have that pre-pandemic girth by the end of the year.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Helloworld agent wins appeal over COVID-19 refund worth over $9,000

by Ali Coulton

With a little help from her friends at AFTA, this agent managed to score a landmark win for the travel trade.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

AirlineRatings.com reveals the world’s best airline for 2021

Aussie airlines fared well in this year’s awards, but the accolade of top dog (or in this instance, top bird) went to an overseas carrier.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Travel industry reacts to Brisbane’s 2032 Olympics win

While Queensland’s capital was a shoo-in to snare the Games for 2032, it was still a bloody nice bit of news for Aussies to wake up to this morning.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Marriott makes “all-important” senior appointment

Sean Hunt has donned the overalls to install a vital new cog in Marriott’s revenue machine. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Globus and Cosmos break sales record with release of 2022 local trips

Get in quick, folks! One trip had already sold half of its departures within two days of its release!

Share

CommentComments