Royal Caribbean International recognised its top-performing agents at a glitzy awards bash last night.
The cruise line held a party to celebrate five years of its trade incentive scheme, Club Rewards.
Key cruise specialists – World Travel Holdings, Cruise1st, Iglu Cruise, Holiday Direction and Cruise.co.uk – all received awards from the line for their sales performances in 2018 at the event in Stapleford Park in Leicestershire.
Individual agents were also hailed by the line’s associate vice-president and UK managing director Ben Bouldin in front of 80 cruise industry guests.
Tui agent Michael Blackburn, Travel Counsellor Sally Landers and the recently retired Nasser Gerab, of Touchdown | Travel Industry Services-parent Travelbrands Ltd, all won individual gongs.
Bouldin said: “Royal Caribbean has 27 ships sailing around the world, visiting 265 ports of call. We operate globally and those trade partnerships are absolutely pivotal to us – and the UK and Ireland is no different.”
Commenting on World Travel Holdings, taking home the best cruise performance, Bouldin said: “World Travel Holdings won this category by quite a long way because, in part, they had a laser focus on Symphony of the Seas.
“They really went after Symphony in a big way out of Barcelona and they bolstered that support by going after Rhapsody of the Seas out of Venice and they doubled their business on our European product.
“We are going to need a lot more of that in 2020 with one ship out of Southampton in Anthem. Our ability to send people to Europe to experience our product is critical.”
Online travel agent Cruise.co.uk was praised for recognising the opportunities that were on offer with the line’s Oasis-class vessels out of Florida.
Announcing the winner of the best ex-UK performing agent, Bouldin said Iglu had always had “a massive presence” for the line.
“They are going to move and diversify with one ship in Southampton, but their success has been unrivalled,” he added.
Best cruise newcomer – Holiday Direction
Best homeworker – Sally Landers (Travel Counsellors)
Best cruise performance – World Travel Holdings
Best cruise performance rest of the world – Cruise1st
Best cruise performance ex-UK – Iglu Cruise
Best cruise performance Caribbean – Cruise.co.uk
Club Rewards ambassador – Michael Blackburn (Tui)
Managing director – Nasser Gerab
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