Cruising pays big bucks to agents | The Insight Files |

The third largest operating expense for cruise companies in 2013 were travel agent commissions totaling $121 million, a new study has revealed. While the study focussed on cruise passenger spend - $371 a day in Australian ports fuelling a $3.2 billion contribution to the economy – it also revealed agent commissions were a costly factor for cruise companies. From a total of $963 million spent by cruise companies in 2013, 12.6% of total costs went to agent commissions, alongside fuel expenditure at $276 million (28.7%), food and beverages $143 million (14.8%) and port charges spend of $97.5 million (10%). The study commissioned by Cruise Lines International Association Australasia (CLIA) found passengers spent more than $700 million across the country last year with Sydney, Fremantle and Melbourne taking home the biggest piece of the pie in terms of highest daily spend for international passengers pre-cruise ($762, $669 and $612 respectively).