For Immediate Release
November 17, 2015
Contact: Alicia Evanko-Lewis, Senior Vice President of Events 646-380-6244
Travel Weekly Celebrates Success at Travel Advisor Event With Record Attendance
Secaucus, NJ –Travel Weekly’s sixth-annual CruiseWorld, held November 11-13, 2015, at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, had record-breaking attendance with more than 1,300 travel professionals participating in three days of industry education, workshops, general session programming and an exhibitor showcase. Nearly 2,000 pre-scheduled one-on-one appointments were completed by participants in the STAR (Select Travel Advisor Recognition) Program. "With the high energy in the general session room and the constant business conversation on the exhibitor showcase floor, we know we have accomplished our goal at this year’s CruiseWorld event, which included the unique STAR Program," said Alicia Evanko-Lewis, Senior Vice President of Events, Travel Group, Northstar Travel Group. "CruiseWorld provides incredible value for members of the travel professional community through engaging content, educational sessions and unlimited networking opportunities. The event is a platform for attendees to make valuable business connections that aid in the continued prosperity of their businesses. This event highlights Travel Weekly’s mission to support and strengthen the dialogue and relationships between travel advisors and industry suppliers." Travel Weekly’s STAR Program comprised over 200 pre-qualified travel advisors representing a cross-section of experience levels, sales expertise and business models whose attendance and accommodations were paid for by Travel Weekly as part of its commitment to strengthening the partnership and business relationships of the travel industry. Participating advisors and suppliers developed mutually beneficial business relationships, expanded their portfolios and product knowledge, and are poised for future business growth. "I know I made the right choice to take time away from my business to be here because I’ve learned a lot and will certainly improve my business as a result of attending the event,” said Claire Robinson, Claire Skies Travel. She attended this year’s event at the recommendation of a colleague and past attendee. “The opportunity to meet with old and new friends and colleagues as well as vendors both known and not...was fantastic. The fact that CruiseWorld brings together the heads of the largest cruise lines and allows us to develop a personal relationship with them is incredible and so very important in building our businesses,” said Lisa Silvestri of Silvestri Travel LLC. “I think that what CruiseWorld does is so important, and therefore, I want to be on the Exhibitor Showcase floor, on stage, and in our exhibitor booth,” said Dondra Ritzenthaler, Global Senior Vice President, Sales & Trade Support and Service, Celebrity Cruises. “I want to be everywhere that my travel professionals are. CruiseWorld affords travel advisors the opportunity to come together, network and learn and I want to be a part of that.” “CruiseWorld is a great event for us. We’re able to have a focused discussion with a captive audience of hundreds of travel advisors. The event also enables us, as suppliers, to create relationships with travel advisors we don’t already know and to solidify existing relationships,” said Steve Gorga, President and CEO, Exclusive Group Travel.
Keynote presentations featured cruise line executives Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Frank del Rio, President & CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd and Karl Holz, President New Vacation Operations and Disney Cruise Line, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. More than 45 panel discussions, workshops, training programs, and peer-to-peer breakout sessions were conducted, focusing on industry trends, targeted marketing, branding, social media skills and supplier relationships. CruiseWorld offered 14 ship inspections hosted by Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International. CruiseWorld returns to Fort Lauderdale in 2016, taking place November 9-11 with a one-day exhibitor showcase on November 10.