FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Alicia Evanko-Lewis
Senior Vice President of Events
Secaucus, NJ –Travel Weekly’s ninth-annual CruiseWorld, held November 7-9, 2018, at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida brought together over 800 travel advisors and a total of 1,300 travel professionals. The three-day event incorporates industry education, training workshops, general session programming, an Exhibitor Showcase and post-event ship inspection opportunities. Attendees left this year’s event feeling motivated by industry leaders, informed about trends and excited about the future of travel.
For many of the advisors in attendance, the amount of knowledge available at CruiseWorld is a primary draw. “I have to keep up with trends, education and the evolution of our industry in order to be successful,” said Laura Gould of Bucket List Travel Center LLC dba Cruise Planners, a 30-year veteran of the industry. “CruiseWorld is a great place to do that because you can learn about the suppliers directly from the source.”
Making connections is what keeps long-time supporter Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours enthusiastic about CruiseWorld. “All of these fantastic people and great advisors are what keep us coming back,” said Rob Huffman, Vice President Sales for Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours. “And every year we’re seeing more and more results from the agents that attend. The opportunities to expose them to our brands are plentiful and meaningful. Plus, we learn how we can help them build their businesses and increase their profitability.”
The desire to learn carried over to the Exhibitor Showcase held on Thursday afternoon. First-time supplier The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection was extremely pleased with the engagement level of advisors. ”I’ve learned that CruiseWorld is all about being present, having the right conversations, and building personal relationships, said Director of Sales Saul Fonseca. “Those visiting our booth were excited to hear more about us and excited to experience our product.”
CruiseWorld even delivered on the emotional front. For this year’s TW Talks, host agency leaders were asked to share a meaningful quote during their eight minutes on stage. “The quotes shared were so motivating and so inspiring, they actually made me a bit teary-eyed,” said Mary Ellen Nunes of VacationKids.com. “One in particular made me realize that I don’t have to be apologetic about having goals and being successful. It’s incredibly invigorating.”
“There’s a uniqueness to face-to-face events when it comes to education and relationship building that can’t be matched by interactive websites, webinars, and online chat,” said Alicia Evanko-Lewis, Senior Vice President of Events, Travel Group, Northstar Travel Group. “The quality of interactions at CruiseWorld is what makes it so valuable to the industry.”
Keynote presentations featured cruise line executives Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation, Jason Liberty, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Royal Caribbean International Ltd., and Frank del Rio, President & CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.
Thirty panel discussions, workshops, training programs, and peer-to-peer breakout sessions were conducted, focusing on industry trends, sales and marketing best practices, expanding a customer base, business expansion, and building supplier relationships.
Attendees were also treated to spectacular entertainment throughout the event. On Wednesday evening Norwegian Cruise Line brought in international pop star and Norwegian Escape’s Godfather, Pitbull, for a private concert. Then, Royal Caribbean International cut the Symphony of the Seas’ 3-hour performance of Hairspray down to a jam-packed 10-minute show during Thursday’s general session. Friday was capped by Travel Planners International’s version of The Price is Right, where five travel advisors were brought on stage to guess the value of various trips in order to win that very trip. Contestants were selected from a pool of advisors who donated to non-profit organization Tourism Cares.
CruiseWorld offered 10 ship inspections hosted by Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises (USA) Inc., Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, and Royal Caribbean International.
CruiseWorld returns to Fort Lauderdale in 2019, taking place November 13-15 with a one-day Exhibitor Showcase on November 14.
ABOUT TRAVEL WEEKLY:
Travel Weekly is the most influential provider of news, research, opinion and analysis to the North American travel trade marketplace. In addition to a weekly print publication, TravelWeekly.com—updated several times daily—is the most-visited industry website. Travel Weekly is a division of Secaucus, New Jersey-based Northstar Travel Group, the largest business-to-business travel publisher in the world.
ABOUT NORTHSTAR TRAVEL GROUP:
Northstar Travel Group is the leading provider of business-to-business news, information, data, transactions and custom content solutions for the travel, meetings and hospitality industries. Brands under the Northstar umbrella include Travel Weekly, Travel Weekly China, Travel Weekly Asia, TravelAge West, Business Travel News, Phocuswright, Burba Hotel Network, Meetings & Conventions, M&C China, Web in Travel and Inntopia. The company produces more than 82 face-to-face events, taking place in North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Northstar is based in Secaucus, NJ, and is a portfolio company of EagleTree Capital.