- UK and Ireland managing director Antonio Paradiso said current wave pricing was designed to incentivize customers to book.
- Paradiso highlighted how any pricing strategy was designed to maintain “the flow of bookings”.
- UK and Ireland are in the top five markets for the line, and revealed how the region was in a “neck and neck battle” with Germany in terms of sales
MSC Cruises’ UK boss says the number of agents selling its cruises have increased by 30% compared to last year as he explained the low fares currently available.
A seven-night Northern Europe voyage departing from Southampton on March 10 is priced from £389, while a 20-night MSC Grand Voyages sailing on MSC Preziosa (pictured) starting on April 15 leads in from £1,439.
UK and Ireland managing director Antonio Paradiso said current wave pricing was designed to incentivise customers to book, but confirmed the line had already started to up fares by around 10% for departures in April, May and June.
“We try to increase prices throughout the year,” he explained. “We’ve already started putting our prices up. That’s part of the revenue management strategy and the strategy of any healthy company.
“We need to give people a reason to book in advance.”
But he added: “If we’re inviting people to book now, they would not be impressed if we dropped our prices in three months’ time. Wave has an expiry date.”
Maintaining flow of booking
Paradiso highlighted how any pricing strategy was designed to maintain “the flow of bookings”.
He noted how consistent booking levels had been so far and more than 80% of MSC bookings came via agents.
“Around 30% additional agents are now selling MSC Cruises versus 2022 but remember in the first quarter last year we were still facing Omicron and the war in Ukraine last year,” Paradiso said.
“The agencies that sold MSC Cruises are growing their share, but the same agencies have recruited new agents.”
Paradiso argued that the line supported agents through the “challenges of the pandemic”.
He went on to confirm the UK and Ireland were in the top five markets for the line, and revealed how the region was in a “neck and neck battle” with Germany in terms of sales.
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Source: Travel Weekly