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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
"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