MSC Cruises has named longtime travel industry executive Joe Jiffo as its new senior vice president of sales for North America.
Jiffo will start in his new role on April 11, succeeding Ken Muskat, who left to take the reins at SkySea Cruise Line, the new joint venture from Royal Caribbean and China’s largest online travel agency, Ctrip.
Jiffo and his team will help steer MSC into a huge period of growth, a decade in which it will spend $10.2 billion on 11 new ships, and increase its annual passenger capacity threefold, from 1.7 million to 5 million.
A former vice president at Ensemble Travel Group and national director of key accounts at Norwegian Cruise Line, Jiffo most recently served as the vice president of sales with Exclusive Group Travel, which will be acquired on April 1 by the Mark Travel Corporation. In that role, Jiffo managed a team of 11 and built solid partnerships in the travel-agent community.
(Jiffo told TMR he had no idea that Mark Travel was acquiring the company until an hour before the news went public. For TMR’s full interview with Joe Jiffo, click here.)
“I’m very excited to reenter the cruise industry and more importantly with a company like MSC that is growing incredibly fast and ensuring MSC Cruises is the easiest and most profitable brand to work with,” he told TMR.
In his career, Jiffo has worked at Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Line.
“Joe is well-respected and has a proven track record of exceeding sales goals and increasing market share. His relationships with the travel agent community and broad experience within the travel industry will prove invaluable as MSC Cruises significantly grows its brand in North America,” MSC president Roberto Fusaro said.