The Cruise Industry recognises its brightest stars of the past year
Monday 17th February 2020, 11:34am
The Australia and New Zealand cruise industry temporarily set aside recent challenges to honour its best and brightest over the weekend at the 19th Annual Cruise Industry Awards in Sydney.
Hosted by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia at The Star, the gala dinner and presentation saw 19 awards bestowed during the night, including Julie Avery from Brighton Travelworld, who was named Australia’s Cruise Consultant of the Year. Lorraine Van Veen from House of Travel Botany Junction walked away with the New Zealand Cruise Consultant of the Year award, while Jeff Leckey from House of Travel took out the Cruise Champion Australasia category, and Bicton Travel scored the coveted Large Cruise Agency of the Year Australia accolade.
CLIA Australasia Managing Director Joel Katz said this year’s awards had a record number of entries, with 560 submissions received across Australia and New Zealand. “This year’s winners reflect an increasing level of dedication among travel agents when it comes to engaging with their clients and developing their cruise business,” he said. “Their passion for cruising is stronger than ever and a sign of the growing levels of expertise among cruise specialists right across the Australasian travel trade,” Katz added.
Katz acknowledged the awards as a celebration of all things cruise, and a chance to shine a spotlight on the best and brightest in the more than $5 billion cruise industry.
“It’s also an opportunity for us to unite, and reflect on some of the challenges facing our guests and colleagues at present,” he said, speaking in part of the current coronavirus crisis, which continues to impact tourism and the flow of tourists in Australia and internationally.
“Our industry is highly responsive, responsible and resilient,” he said. “Fortunately, most cruises around the world are operating as usual, and the extra measures CLIA Cruise Lines have put in place globally will help to reassure travellers.”
Katz also pointed to the return of cruise ships, as well as more visits, to bushfire affected communities as one of the highlights of the year. The opening of the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal in late 2020, Katz explained, will perhaps be the season’s biggest landmark.
“Around the same time, New Zealand will welcome the opening of a dedicated cruise wharf at the Port of Lyttelton, serving the city of Christchurch, representing a major step forward for the Canterbury region as it recovers from the earthquakes,” he announced to applause.
The evening’s biggest highlight arguably belonged to former Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry, who was inducted into the prestigious CLIA Hall of Fame.
Here are all the winners from the 19th annual Cruise Industry Awards:
- Agency Promotion of the Year, New Zealand: Cruise Sale Finder
- Agency Promotion of the Year, Australia: Megan Catterall, itravel
- Network Promotion of the Year, Australasia: MTA – Mobile Travel Agents
- Cruise Month Promotion of the Year, Australasia: House of Travel Cruise
- Media Award, Australasia: Helen Anderson
- Rising Star, New Zealand: Charlotte Chalman, House of Travel Lakers Gore
- Rising Star, Australia: Bryan Andersen, My Cruises
- Broker of the Year, New Zealand: Andrew Lennox, Flight Centre Travel Broker
- Home Based/Mobile Agent of the Year, Australia: Robyn Sinfield, Home Travel Company
- Cruise Champion, Australasia: Jeff Leckey, House of Travel
- Cruise Consultant of the Year, New Zealand: Lorraine Van Veen, House of Travel Botany Junction
- Cruise Consultant of the Year, Australia: Julie Avery, Brighton Travelworld
- Online Cruise Agency of the Year, New Zealand: Cruise Sale Finder
- Online Cruise Agency of the Year, Australia: Cruise Guru
- Small Cruise Agency of the Year, New Zealand: Pukekohe Travel
- Small Cruise Agency of the Year, Australia: New Farm Travel
- Large Cruise Agency of the Year, New Zealand: Helloworld Lambton Quay/St Heliers/Mt Eden/Botany
- Large Cruise Agency of the Year, Australia: Bicton Travel
- CLIA Hall of Fame: Ann Sherry AO.
Source: Cruise Weekly