Royal Caribbean chief warns Brexit could increase cruise prices

Clia Conference: Royal Caribbean chief warns Brexit could increase cruise prices

by Natasha Salmon  May 26th 2017, 17:36

Gallery: Clia Conference 2017

Brexit could affect freedom of movement and prices of cruises, Clia chairman Stuart Leven has said.

Speaking at the annual Clia Conference in Southampton Leven, Royal Caribbean International’s vice president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said Brexit would impact cruise in three ways.

“Firstly it could impact the freedom of our guests and passengers to cross borders, the second is freedom of our staff and our crew to cross borders.

“The third is the impact it has in what we charge because there is the customs union that allows us to take goods on ships from one country to the next without charge or taxation. And they are the three main areas which could see change due to Brexit.”

Leven said the main risk from the changes by Brexit will also come when customers book their holidays during the process until 2019 but it was down to agents to maintain confidence in cruise and travel market.

“At some point next year people will be booking their holidays for 2019 and in doing so there will be a lot of uncertainty around whether people will need visas to go to Europe.

“You as travel agents need to reassure them that it is business as usual, it is alright and make sure we don’t get a short turnover on the bookings which none of us want.”

In his role as chairman for Clia in UK and Ireland Leven said he was working with the Abta committee in making sure ‘the cruise industry is represented’ in government negotiations.

Carnival Corporation chief backs UK trade push

The chief executive of Carnival Corporation has backed his UK team to develop relations with the trade, but urged agents to speak out if they were unhappy with the cruise giant’s strategy.

Speaking at the 10th annual Clia conference in Southampton, Arnold Donald said he had “every confidence” in the Carnival UK team, who he said would “talk to the trade, listen and learn”.

His comments came after Carnival UK’s vice president for sales Alex White vowed to have “agents at the heart” of the P&O Cruises and Cunard business in the future, following a mixed history with the trade which included a swathe of commission cuts in 2011.

Donald said: “We have increased our team by 30% under the leadership of Alex White, we have our Cunard and P&O Cruises Partnership Team that we’ve implemented and we have our training academy which we are refining and revamping.

“You (the trade) told us that we were on the right track and we absolutely want to keep listening and figuring out how we can continue enhancing.

“I have every confidence in David Noyes, who leads Carnival UK, and Alex and his expanded team to make sure we have enough people contact (with the trade) and make sure we’re talking to you and listening and learning so we can deliver what you need to build your business and in turn build our business and I think we’re on the track.

“You tell us, and if we’re not we’ll correct it and make sure we get on the right track.”