CLIA Australasia Announces Winners of 2017 Cruise Industry Awards

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia has revealed the winners of the 17th Annual Cruise Industry Awards. As the biggest night on the cruise calendar, 500 members and partners of the Australian and New Zealand industry gathered at the Star Event Centre Sydney on Saturday to celebrate the achievements of the entire Australasian cruise industry.

It was a particularly big night for Perth travel agency Bicton Travel which claimed the top gong in Australia for the fifth year in a row, making it an unprecedented seven gold Cruise Agency of the Year awards in total.

Carole Smethurst, Managing Director of Bicton Travel, said “The secret of our success is sticking to our principles of continually training our staff with CLIA accredited training to look after our clients. We put the right people on the right cruises which ensures they are happy customers!”

Cruiseabout Kew was awarded silver and Phil Hoffman Travel took out bronze in addition to Network Promotion of the Year– Australasia for the South Australian agency’s “Mega Cruise Sales Day”.

In New Zealand, Bon Voyage Cruises & Travel won its first gold Agency of the Year award, with House of Travel Orewa taking out silver and last year’s winner, Pukekohe Travel, rounding out the cruise agency accolades with bronze.

Gerard Murphy, Director of Bon Voyage Cruises & Travel said “I am very proud of winning the New Zealand gold Agency of the Year award. We have got great people on the team and our suppliers back our innovation 100%.”

Meanwhile Clean Cruising cleaned up in two categories, wining Online Agency of the Year – Australia, and taking out the Australian Agency Promotion award.

A total of 20 awards were presented over the course of the evening including the latest entrant to the CLIA Hall of Fame – Ted Blamey. A pioneer of the local cruise industry, his 30-year cruise career spanned from Managing Director of Sitmar Cruises Australasia to President and CEO of Sitmar International, CEO of Australia’s largest retail travel group Ansett Retail/Traveland and Chairman of Sydney Ports and now, as head of CHART Management Consultants, he advises global cruise lines, destinations and government authorities.

CLIA Australasia & Asia Managing Director Joel Katz said it was a stellar evening befitting the stars of the local cruise industry.

“’The CLIAs’ are all about recognising and rewarding the outstanding achievements of member agents who have had a big year of cruise and done their part to contribute to the incredible growth of the industry,” Mr Katz said.

“We’d like to congratulate all the winners, finalists and also offer a special round of applause to all those who entered or were nominated. With so much great work right across the Australasian cruise industry in 2017, these awards are as important as ever and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to shine a light on so many talented and passionate individuals.”

Sunrise newsreader Natalie Barr hosted the evening for the first time and the sell-out audience were treated to a show-stopping performance by the incredible “Burn The Floor” dance troupe ahead of their Australian tour this year.

The major sponsors of the 2017 awards were Dubai Tourism, Emirates, World’s Leading Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean.

(CLIA Australasia)