Norwegian Cruise Line's new president, David Herrera, confirmed his commitment to supporting travel advisors at a small get-together with press before Tuesday’s Seatrade Cruise Global Conference in Fort Lauderdale.
"Our trade partners are critical to our success. We can’t succeed without our trade partners succeeding," he said. "I’m very comfortable with the sales team that we have today. We have an excellent group of sales professionals, industry veterans, who are committed to not only expanding the relationships we have with our partners but reinforcing to everyone that NCL is proud to do business with our travel partners."
Outgoing president and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ new president and CEO Harry Sommer added that while the announcement was only made last week, they've known that Herrera was going to be the brand president for a while.
"He actively participated in these decisions. He's not just taking credit for something that Todd [Hamilton] or I did. He was an active participant at the table when we talked through things like what we were going to do with NCFs. This is something that he personally believes in."
Sommer also reiterated his own commitment to the trade.
"I’m a huge believer in partnerships. David alluded to our partnerships with the trade. Not only does he express his commitment to the trade, but I’ll express my commitment to the trade too. We think the thousands of travel agents out there that, quite frankly, are primarily supporting us and resorts now, because they don't really do much in the air, hotel, and car business because they don’t get paid commissions, is one of the secret weapons of the cruise industry."
No Inflation Squeeze
At the gathering, Sommer also spoke to consumer media messaging that inflation is squeezing consumers and affecting their vacation planning.
"Our demographic is not the typical American. The typical American doesn’t take a cruise," he said. "Our demographics, certainly at the Oceania and Regent brands, but even at the NCL brand, are people that are upper middle class or higher on the economic scale that seem to value vacations. I don’t want to say they're not affected by inflation – we all are – but they seem to value vacations despite inflationary pressures. So, we’ve not seen any squeeze caused by that yet."