ASTA honors Royal Caribbean's Richard Fain and Vicki Freed

CHICAGO — Royal Caribbean Group chairman Richard Fain received ASTA’s 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award Tuesday night at the annual ASTA Advocacy Dinner, recognizing both his support of the travel advisor community and its public affairs goals.

Fain took the opportunity to announce that the Royal Caribbean Group would be donating $100,000 to ASTA advocacy efforts — and that he would personally match that amount.

Other donations made that night included $25,000 from Matthew Upchurch on behalf of Virtuoso, $20,000 from Alex Sharpe on behalf of Signature Travel Network, $10,000 from Internova Travel Group and $5,000 from Jackie Friedman on behalf of Nexion.  

The next morning, Vicki Freed, Royal Caribbean International’s senior vice president of sales, trade support and service, received, for the fourth consecutive time, ASTA’s Partner Representative of the Year, during a general session of the ASTA Global Convention.

In accepting it, she thanked the audience of advisors. “Your success is our success. We could not survive without travel advisors.”

Freed also said that recent net promoter scores, a measurement of brand loyalty, have been higher on recent sailings than they were prior to the pandemic. She attributed that in part to crew happiness, tied in part to gratitude that Royal Caribbean Group was able to get them vaccinated sooner than they might have otherwise. That happiness is then reflected in the service passengers are receiving, she said.

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