Royal Caribbean Opens Travel Agency Loan Program to Applicants

 

 

Royal Caribbean Group’s eagerly anticipated “Pay it Forward” $40 million loan program for travel advisors, which was first unveiled in December, is finally open for applications. As part of the second phase of RCL Cares, the program has a dedicated platform on www.CruisingPower.com, Royal Caribbean’s travel agency website, where qualifying travel agency owners can apply for financial support. The site provides additional information and eligibility parameters.

Royal Caribbean’s “Pay it Forward” offers three-year, interest-free business loans to mitigate the losses that travel agencies have experienced because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The cruise giant offers loans of up to $250,000 to qualified agencies as the second part of its RCL Cares initiative, which it launched in April to help travel advisors navigate the Cares Act through one-on-one assistance from its sales teams.

Requirements for eligibility include that the applicant be authorized to take a commercial loan, be in good standing with Royal Caribbean and have commission levels across Royal brands greater than $4,000 from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2019.

The loan amount reportedly will be capped at 25 percent of the agency applicant’s commission earnings during that timeframe. That means an agency with $4,000 in commission can apply for a $1,000 loan while an agency with $40,0000 in commission earnings is eligible for a $10,000 loan.

Loan recipients reportedly will have a one-year grace period to make repayments. During the second and third years of the loan’s term, monthly payments will be automatically deducted from the agency’s commission account.

Royal Caribbean said that loans can be used for a variety of business purposes, including payroll, rent, utilities and marketing, but not for personal expenses. The program launched this week in all but four states—California, Vermont and North and South Dakota, as well as Washington D.C. and Canada, but Royal Caribbean is working to offer the program in those states and locations soon.

Vicki Freed, Royal Caribbean International’s senior vice president of sales, trade support and service, in her weekly  Coffee Talk with travel advisors, said there is lot of regulations that go into this so working out the details of the loan program was not easy. Freed said that the loan is available to all agency owners, including independent contractors, as long as they had a secondary phone field in their Royal Caribbean profile prior to December 2019. She said status updates on the loans, which will be reviewed by a team of 150, should take about 10 days.

In addition, since the Small Business Administration is reopening the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to make additional federal funding available to small businesses, Royal Caribbean has teamed up with ACAP + The Loan Source, a group specializing in the PPP process, to help travel advisors apply for PPP loans. ACAP + The Loan Source specializes in helping to ease the application processes for PPP loans and forgiveness. For more information, visit www.cruisingpower.com.

 

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