Irish trade at the Celebrity Cruises Travel Agent Appreciation Awards
Celebrity Cruises rewarded the exceptionally hard work of travel partners and celebrated industry icons at its annual Travel Agent Appreciation Awards. The luxury cruise line honoured a host of valued partners in recognition of how their efforts have directly impacted the business’s success over the past 12 months and handed out a special award to Dame Irene Hays DBE DL, of Hays Travel, for her outstanding contribution to travel.
Held on 12th January at Searcy’s at The Gherkin, the luxury event saw over 70 travel partners come together and a total of eight awards presented to key groups and individuals to celebrate their commitment to Celebrity Cruises and to the wider industry. The awards were hosted by Jo Rzymowska (Celebrity Cruises Vice President & Managing Director EMEA) and Claire Stirrup (Sales Director UK & Ireland).
The afternoon’s winners, who are each the recipient of an Above & Beyond Award, are made up of game-changers, innovators, those who have gone above and beyond, as well as partners that have reached new growth milestones and found new ways to market. The full list of Celebrity Cruises’ Travel Agent Appreciation Awards winners includes:
Cruise.co.uk – commended for their innovative go to market campaigns, creative approach and product planning
Hays Travel – noted for their approach to investing in training and developing their people, to deepen their Celebrity Cruises product knowledge
Love It Book It – who have focused on their TV channel to drive sales and showcase Celebrity Cruises, creating and investing in video footage to bring the brand to life
Midcounties Co-Operative- for deepening their partnership with Celebrity Cruises by dedicating extra resource to drive Celebrity brand awareness and significantly increase their bookings
Stewart Travel – for developing a bespoke Celebrity Cruises strategic plan which has resulted in exponential growth, and investing in their sellers to experience the product and build their knowledge of the brand
The Cruise Village – called out as a company for going above and beyond to deliver personalised service and attract new guests to Celebrity Cruises
Travel Counsellors – translating the real value of a Celebrity Cruises’ relaxed luxury resort at sea experience to their customers, they are heralded for selling on value and not on price
Outstanding contribution award: Dame Irene Hays DBE DL – an ambassador for the travel industry, an exceptional leader whose influence is immeasurable, and most notably, a passionate advocate for championing young people to be the best they can be and to get the most they can out of life.
Jo Rzymowska (Vice President & Managing Director EMEA Celebrity Cruises) said: “2022 was an incredible year for Celebrity Cruises with the launch of the industry-leading Celebrity Beyond in the UK, and the news that a stunning Edge-Series ship, Celebrity Apex, will be homeporting in Southampton from 2024. These achievements are testament to the brand’s confidence in the UK market, owing to the incredible support of our travel partners. We’re also particularly encouraged by the strong start we are seeing to Wave already, and remain positive for a great year ahead in 2023. The Travel Agent Appreciation Awards are our opportunity to say thank you to our hugely valued travel agent community, as we simply couldn’t do it without them”.
2023’s awards also marked the final time Rzymowska will preside over the much-loved annual event before stepping down from her role in June. Commenting on the significance, she added: “This year’s awards are also particularly poignant for me as I think beyond just the last 12 months and back as far as when I first stepped into my role for the dedicated Celebrity Cruises business back in 2014. As I prepare to hand over the mantle in June, I’d like to add a note of personal gratitude to all of the travel partners and industry friends who have been vital to the success of our business during my time at its helm”.