Every year, we get to honor top travel agents in the West with our Trendsetter Awards, which you can read about in this issue’s cover story. These are agents who show exceptional creativity, dedication, leadership and promise. It’s always one of our favorite issues of the year, and we find their achievements inspiring.
I was just at an industry event with a wide range of top suppliers, and I can tell you that they definitely pay attention to agent awards as well. In an industry where anyone with a website can claim to be a travel expert, awards such as these help agents stand out in the crowd.
Also in this issue, we have our 2013 WAVE Awards coverage. WAVE stands for Western Agents’ Votes of Excellence, and this awards program allows travel agents in the West the chance to vote for their favorite travel companies and destinations. Take a look at the list of companies involved with the awards — I’m willing to bet that many of these companies are some of your most important partners.
In fact, I encourage you to pay attention to this year’s Trendsetter Award sponsors (AMResorts, Disneyland, the Globus Family of Brands and Gogo Vacations) and the companies that have chosen to advertise in the Trendsetter and WAVE sections. These companies truly care about the travel agent community and consistently work to support agents. You will often see the same brands sponsoring awards, education, fams and other travel agent programs. It only makes sense for agents to support the companies that support them.
Awards programs such as Trendsetters and WAVE take a huge amount of work. Every year, at the start of these programs, I think about the amount of resources that go into them, and I ask myself if it’s all worth it. Ultimately, it is. Just as TravelAge West gives agents in the West their own voice, these awards give Western agents the opportunity to stand out in the industry and acknowledge their best partners.
If you’re interested in entering the 2014 Trendsetter Awards, look for announcements starting in January 2014, or send an email to Letters@travelagewest.com, and we’ll add you to our award mailing list. And for more WAVE coverage, visit our redesigned website at TravelAgeWest.com/Wave.