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Many say turning 50 makes you “over the hill,” but for TravelAge West, we’re nothing but over the moon about our latest birthday.
2019 marks the 50th anniversary of our award-winning travel trade publication, and we’re so thankful for the support of our readers and partners in the travel industry throughout the years for inspiring us to create and produce quality content.
This year also marks 14 years of our Western Agents Votes of Excellence (WAVE) Awards, which allow Western-based travel advisors to recognize the travel suppliers, destinations and partners that help them provide stellar client experiences.
As we prepare for our annual WAVE soiree this summer, we’re also reminiscing on the history of travel over the last half-century, grateful that we have been able to play a small part in the development of the ever-changing travel industry.
“Every year, it’s an honor to bring together travel advisors and suppliers in order to celebrate the best of the best with our WAVE Awards, but this year is extra-special,” said Kenneth Shapiro, Editor-in-Chief of TravelAge West. “Reaching this 50th anniversary milestone means so much to all of us at the magazine. It’s truly humbling to realize the hard work by so many amazing people over the years that has gone into making TravelAge West the iconic Western brand that it has become. We are constantly thankful for the vision of those who came before us and for the loyalty of our beloved audience of travel advisors.”
50 and FabulousFor our anniversary year, we’re celebrating with the theme “Beyond Words for 50 Years.” Our festivities include publishing a special June 17 anniversary issue of TravelAge West. We’ll highlight landmark moments in the travel industry over the last 50 years, as well as muse on topics such as the history of our magazine and the evolution of the travel advisor profession; land tours; cruising and river cruising; and the airline industry.
And we’re not the only ones celebrating our 50th: Royal Caribbean International is also commemorating its golden anniversary this year. The cruise line — which last year launched the world’s largest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas — is nominated for 10 WAVE Awards this year.
“To win a TravelAge West WAVE Award is a real testament to one’s achievement in our industry,” said Vicki L. Freed, senior vice president of sales and trade support and service for Royal Caribbean. “Think about it — for a company to celebrate 50 years, that means you’re really doing something right. And receiving a recognition from a company with that kind of track record carries weight — it means something. To be handpicked by an industry powerhouse with five decades of success behind it is an honor. And as Royal Caribbean also celebrates 50 years in the travel business, we’re proud to reach this amazing milestone together.”
MT Sobek, too, is observing five decades of serving the travel industry. The adventure travel tour operator is nominated for a 2019 WAVE Award in the category of Best Tour Operator for Adventure/Experiential Travel.
“To still be a respected icon and leading company in the travel space after 50 years is an incredible feat; we at MT Sobek can relate as we celebrate our own 50th anniversary this year,” said Kimberly Daley, president and CEO of MT Sobek. “TravelAge West has always been a go-to source of news for the travel industry and a beacon of excellence for its diverse coverage as well as its connection with all suppliers in the industry. Whether it’s the WAVE Awards showcasing superiority in travel for the last 14 years or the dynamic reporting by a committed team, each member of the MT Sobek team thanks and congratulates TravelAge West and looks forward to the next 50 years of innovating travel with them.”
Intrepid Travel is celebrating a milestone anniversary in 2019, as well: 30 years of providing guided adventure travel. The operator is nominated for three WAVE Awards this year.
“As we approach this year’s WAVE Awards, we’re proud to recognize and celebrate our travel advisor partners, who, alongside Intrepid, collectively change the way people see the world,” said Darshika Jones, regional director of North America for Intrepid. “The WAVE nominations are an affirmation of the tremendous strides that businesses are taking — not only in providing the best overall travel experiences, but also in ensuring there is more focus on traveling responsibly and sustainably, which has, arguably, never been more important. It’s truly an honor to work with TravelAge West; Intrepid can attribute much of its industry success to the publication’s dedication to reporting and storytelling.”
Go West, AdvisorsEditor’s Picks are chosen after several months of thoughtful consideration; we conduct research, survey advisors, consider firsthand experience, glean insight from our TravelAge West Travel Agent Advisory Board and deliberate at length during many in-depth discussions about the list of candidates for the 2019 WAVE nominations.
Now, it’s your turn to make your picks for your favorite suppliers and destinations. Voting is open online now through the end of April at TravelAgeWest.com/WAVE/Vote. The black-tie WAVE Awards gala will be held June 13 at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey in Los Angeles.
The DetailsWAVE Awardswww.travelagewest.com/wave/vote