Setting Sail to Success: Royal Caribbean Nigeria Rewards Travel Agents

Royal Caribbean Nigeria is not just setting sail; it is setting a new standard in the travel industry, overcoming challenges, and exceeding expectations. Reflecting on its journey, the company celebrated the pioneers of cruise holidays at a vibrant ceremony in Lagos.

Honouring travel agents and promoters of cruise holidays, the event at the Lagos Intercontinental Hotel recognized those who have consistently championed Royal Caribbean cruises in Nigeria.

Notable awardees include Travelers Haven, Aviator Travels, Travelkulture Limited, Essence Travels, Lynnmax Travels, Gota Voyage, Goge Africa, Tour Brokers International, and Elrom Travels.

Caption: L-R: CEO – Mr Marco Cristofoli CEO – Cruises International – Representative of Royal Caribbean cruise line in Africa, Mrs Uloma Egbuna Managing Director TBI Cruises and Tours – Representative of Royal Caribbean cruise line in West Africa, Natalya Whitfield Head Of Sales Emea Irs And Psrs – Royal Caribbean International, Thaybz Khan, Head Of Product Cruises International and Mrs Odion Chigbufue Executive Director, TBI Cruises and Tours

Natalya Whitfield, the Head of sales for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, led the team from Royal Caribbean. Marco Cristofoli, CEO of Cruises International, led the International representative for Africa team. Managing Director of Tour Brokers International, Mrs. Uloma Egbuna, shared the history, recalling the challenges of introducing cruises to Nigeria in 2007.

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Despite initial resistance, they remained committed, and by 2016, the first Royal Caribbean office in Nigeria and Africa was established.

Egbuna acknowledged the impact of COVID-19 on their progress, highlighting the resilience and commitment of their partners. The day was a tribute to travel partners, emphasizing the strength of collaboration and perseverance.

“We remained resilient and committed to the vision. Fast forward to 2016, we decided with Mr. George Argyroupolus, the then-CEO of Cruises International, to set up the first Royal Caribbean branded office in Nigeria and Africa. We held events in Lagos and Abuja. Slowly but surely, the message was penetrating. From then onward, up until COVID-19, we witnessed year-on-year growth. Then covid happened. All the work it took us several years to do came grumbling like a pack of cards. December 2019 is a month we will never forget in the history of TBI Cruises.”

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Executive Director of TBI, Mrs Odion Chigbufue, expressed gratitude to their partners, acknowledging their crucial role in Royal Caribbean Nigeria’s growth. Ten outstanding agents were recognized as “cruise star agents,” a testament to their consistent promotion of Royal Caribbean cruises.

She said, “We recognized ten agents across Nigeria and West Africa who came to Nigeria to receive their awards. What we have done is identify our key agents who have consistently and intentionally promoted Royal Caribbean cruise in Nigeria. They have been resilient; they have introduced it to their clients. We deem it fit to express our gratitude by tagging them as star agents in Nigeria.

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One of the awardees, Joy Agbakoba of Travellers’ Haven praised cruises as the best form of vacation, emphasizing its potential to boost tourism in Nigeria.

Another recipient, Olamma Ojukwu of Gods Own Travel Agency, shared her delightful experience on a Royal Caribbean Cruise and expressed enthusiasm for promoting cruises in French-speaking countries.

This award ceremony is more than an accolade; it was a celebration of dedication and a promise to continue making waves in the travel industry.

Wole Shadare