Travel Agents: Vote Now for the 2017 WAVE Awards

Voting is now open for the 12th annual awards By: Kenneth Shapiro
Shapiro // © 2017 TravelAge West
Shapiro // © 2017 TravelAge West

This issue's cover story, "8 Great River Cruise Themes" (page 18), takes a look at one of the most important and creative travel trends in the industry. If you are not using special-interest river cruise itineraries to either encourage a client to try sailing for the first time or to bring back a repeat cruiser, then you're missing out on perhaps the single best sales tool available to agents. River cruise companies have done an amazing job coming up with innovative options, but it's up to agents to truly take advantage of all that the lines offer.

In this issue, we honor other innovative travel companies as well, with our 2017 WAVE Awards ballot (page 30). This is the 12th year of the Western Agents Vote of Excellence (WAVE) Awards, and we have more categories and more cruise lines, hotels, tour operators, destinations, airlines, car rental companies, rail operators, travel insurance companies, tourism boards and sales reps nominated than ever before. In fact, there are several first-time Editor's Picks this year, and you can read about many of them in the story starting on page 22. One thing that's clear: Being honored by travel agents is important to companies both large and small.

"This WAVE nomination is both gratifying and inspiring," said Alice Howell, director of user experience and collaboration for Geographic Expeditions, a first-time pick in the category of Best Tour Operator for Adventure/Experiential Travel. "It fuels our drive to work even harder to create extraordinary journeys."

It's especially satisfying to recognize companies that have a history of standing by travel agents, such as Celebrity Cruises, which has multiple nominations.

"A win solidifies our hard work and our passion for the travel professional," said Keith Lane, vice president of field sales and national accounts North America for Celebrity. "Everything we do is through the lens of the travel professional and how they can better sell our brand to make more money for themselves and their families."

Online voting is open through April 30; go to TravelAgeWest.com/Wave/Vote to reward your industry favorites. If there's a company that has supported your business, now is the chance to show them you appreciate their partnership.

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