TravelAge West WAVE Awards

TravelAge West and its esteemed readers celebrated the best of the travel industry at the annual WAVE (Western Agents’ Votes of Excellence) Awards, held on June 5 at the beachside Hotel Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, Calif. The magazine recognized honorees in 62 categories that spanned the cruise, tour operator, airline, hotel and resort, rail vacation, travel insurance and destination travel fields. In addition, top travel agents were applauded in four categories as part of the 2014 Trendsetters Awards. Guests also enjoyed a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception, prior to dining on a four-course meal at the black-tie event.

WAVE Awards Editors Picks

Every year, the editorial team at TravelAge West, headed by Editor-in-Chief Ken Shapiro, reviews hundreds of travel suppliers and products. Review methods include product analysis, on-site visits, a travel agent survey and online research. After careful consideration, a list of “Editor’s Pick” nominees, in a variety of categories are confirmed.

==> Click here to see a list of the 2014 Editor’s Picks

WAVE Awards Voting

Nominees are then placed on an official WAVE ballot, which is printed in the April issues of TravelAge West, posted online and promoted in email communications to travel agents throughout the Western United States. 

WAVE Gala

The Editors Picks and WAVE Award winners are celebrated at a star-studded gala held every June in Los Angeles. The black tie gala brings together honorees and travel agents, and recognizes the outstanding qualities and services of the industry’s leading travel suppliers.

Excellence in Leadership

TravelAge West’s Excellence in Leadership Award celebrates a long-standing icon of the travel industry, and recognizes their lifelong commitment to the betterment of the industry.

Honoring Vicki Freed

For 2014, TravelAge West is thrilled to honor Vicki Freed — an undisputed champion of the travel agent community, who serves as senior vice president of sales, trade support and service for Royal Caribbean International. Freed oversees Royal Caribbean International’s sales force — the largest sales team in the cruise industry. She also manages Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s trade support and service division, including reservations, group sales and customer service. Under Freed's sales leadership, Royal Caribbean International has been the recipient of the Travel Weekly Reader's Choice Award for Best Sales & Service and the TravelAge West WAVE Award for Best Travel Agent Support for six years in a row. This recognition confirms her unwavering support of the travel agent community.

Every year, TravelAge West also honors leading travel agents in the Western United States with its Trendsetter Awards. The travel agents honored all display an innovative, entrepreneurial spirit that enables them to adapt to new business landscapes — an essential skill in the ever-changing travel industry.

Marketing Center

TravelAge West congratulates all its Editors Picks nominees and provides a variety of tools to help them promote their nomination. 

Sample press releases and official WAVE Award logos are available to all nominees. Download your materials in our WAVE marketing center now. 

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