For Immediate Release
November 14, 2016
Alicia Evanko-Lewis, Senior Vice President of Events
Travel Weekly’s CruiseWorld Celebrates Record Attendance, Sold Out Exhibitor Showcase and Historic Events
Secaucus, NJ –Travel Weekly’s seventh-annual CruiseWorld, held November 9-11, 2016, at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, had record attendance, with 1,300 travel professionals participating in three days of industry education, workshops, general session programming and an Exhibitor Showcase. Participants in the STAR (Select Travel Advisor Recognition) Program completed approximately 2,100 pre-scheduled one-on-one appointments with exhibiting suppliers.
"The level of participation and engagement we saw from both the travel advisor and supplier attendees at this year’s CruiseWorld was astonishing," said Alicia Evanko-Lewis, Senior Vice President of Events, Travel Group, Northstar Travel Group. "Seeing a jam-packed venue confirms the education, industry updates and networking that CruiseWorld provides are of incredible value for members of the travel professional community. Throughout the event, attendees are making business connections that lead to the continued growth and development of their business and we’re proud to be able to make that happen."
A cornerstone of CruiseWorld is Travel Weekly’s STAR Program, comprised of nearly 250 pre-qualified travel advisors representing a cross-section of experience levels, sales expertise and business models. Their 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.
“Networking with peers is a key reason that I attend CruiseWorld,” said Bill Tilburg, Owner, Global Travel Advisors and a participant in CruiseWorld’s STAR Program. “There’s the opportunity to meet other advisors who are not as experienced as I am and many that are more experienced. Here, I can share my ideas as well as learn new ones, which ultimately helps improve business all around.”
Fourth-time attendee, Karen Lynn, Owner, Trip And Sip Travel, LLC continues to reap the benefits of CruiseWorld. “As a home-based travel advisor, I don’t always have the opportunity to make in-person connections with industry colleagues. At CruiseWorld, I get one-to-one time with suppliers from cruise lines to all-inclusive resorts and more. Every year there’s someone or something that’s new to me.”
Unique to CruiseWorld this year was the opportunity for attendees to be a part of Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas Naming Ceremony. “We were honored to be able to invite every travel professional that is attending CruiseWorld to see the birth of a brand new ship,” said Vicki Freed, SVP Sales and Trade Support and Service, Royal Caribbean International. Approximately 550 travel advisors boarded the world’s largest ship where they were treated to onboard entertainment and were called out and recognized by Royal Caribbean leadership as part of this historic ceremony. Participating in the ship’s christening celebration before her inaugural sailing was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for so many.
CruiseWorld attracts a varied group of travel professional but what is consistent is their passion, said John Chernesky, Vice President, North American Sales, Princess Cruises and Cunard Line. “The advisors attending CruiseWorld range from really experienced to brand new, and being here allows us to connect with them, help them grow and become better at their jobs.”
“We love participating in CruiseWorld because it enables us to learn from advisors what technology they need now, and in the future, to run their businesses successfully,” said John Ische, President and CEO of Trisept Solutions. Trisept co-sponsored the Think Tank discussion forum with its partners from Amadeus on the opening night of the event. “From the Think Tank, we receive real hands-on feedback from our clients, which is invaluable.” Keynote presentations featured cruise line executives Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation and Frank del Rio, President & CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. More than 30 panel discussions, workshops, training programs, and peer-to-peer breakout sessions were conducted, focusing on industry trends, marketing best practices, social media skills and building supplier relationships.
CruiseWorld offered 12 ship inspections hosted by Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Fathom Impact Travel, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.
On Veterans Day, the closing day of the event, MSC Cruises surprised all attending veterans with a free cruise to share in the launch of their Seaside next December.
CruiseWorld returns to Fort Lauderdale in 2017, taking place November 15-17 with a one-day Exhibitor Showcase on November 16.
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, Meetings & Conventions, M&C China, Web in Travel and Inntopia. Northstar is the industry leader in marketing solutions, custom content communications, content licensing and database management serving the travel and meetings industries. The company produces more than 52 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 Wasserstein & Co.
About Wasserstein Partners IV
Wasserstein Partners IV is a mid-market buyout fund managed by WP Capital Management, the private equity investment company formerly associated with Wasserstein Perella Group and Wasserstein & Co. The firm manages capital on behalf of institutional and individual investors. Its investment activities are focused on the media and communications, consumer products and water and industrial sectors. WP Capital's investment team has completed 27 platform acquisitions and 49 add-on acquisitions over a 23-year period. WP Capital is located in New York. For more information, visit www.wasserco.com.