IMAGE: Gold Agency of the Year – Western Australia’s Bicton Travel
More than 500 industry members from across Australia and New Zealand joined Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia in celebrating all things cruise at the 16th Annual Cruise Industry Awards in Sydney on Saturday night. There were 19 winners announced across nine categories, with the top Australian gong once again going to Western Australia’s Bicton Travel.
In addition to winning an unprecedented sixth Gold Agency of the Year award, Bicton founder Carole Smethurst was inducted into the CLIA Hall of Fame, acknowledging her tireless efforts and achievements across the cruise sector.
Smethurst recalled that she had sold her first cruise package in 1993, moving on to specialise in cruising as the industry grew.
“Thank you to everyone who’s voted for Bicton Travel to be Cruise Agent of the Year over all these years and thank you from the bottom of my heart for this award,” she said.
Phil Hoffmann Travel Glenelg took out the Silver Award, marking the agency’s seventh appearance in the top three since 2008, while Cruiseabout Kew won Bronze.
NZ agency Pukekohe Travel won the Gold Agency of the Year award for the second time in three years, with manager Gail Littin also claiming Cruise Consultant of the Year – the first time a New Zealand agency and one of its team has taken home both top awards.
House of Travel Orewa was awarded Silver and Cruiseabout Parnell was named New Zealand’s Bronze Agency of the Year.
The CLIAs also saw the inaugural Australasian Plan a Cruise Month Agency promotion award handed out to New Zealand’s Bon Voyage Cruises & Travel.
CLIA Australasia chairman Steve Odell presented a special posthumous award to the late James Patrick from Wiltrans International for his contribution to the Australasian cruise industry. James’ wife, Wiltrans managing director Diane Patrick, accepted the award.
Odell said the 2016 awards night was a fitting celebration following a massive year for the cruise industry in both Australia and New Zealand.
“The Cruise Industry Awards bring together the industry’s brightest stars from across Australia and New Zealand in a fantastic celebration that recognises their outstanding achievements. Each year, the event continues to grow in stature in line with the impressive expansion of the industry, cementing the CLIAs as the cruise industry’s ‘night of nights’,” Odell said.
2016 CRUISE INDUSTRY AWARD WINNERS
|Cruise Agency of the Year – Australia
GOLD: Bicton Travel, Perth WA
|Cruise Agency of the Year – New Zealand
GOLD: Pukekohe Travel
SILVER: House of Travel Orewa
BRONZE: Cruiseabout Parnell
|Online Agency of the Year – Australia
|Online Agency of the Year – New Zealand
|Home Based/Mobile Agent of the Year – Australia
Derek Harwood – TravelManagers
|Broker of the Year – New Zealand
Debbie Bradford – NZ Travel Brokers
|Cruise Consultant of the Year – Australia
Helen McMullen, Cruise Holidays QLD
|Cruise Consultant of the Year – New Zealand
Gail Littin, Pukekohe Travel
|Rising Star Award – Australia
Hayley Osbourne, Cruise Republic VIC
|Rising Star Award – New Zealand
Melanie Morrison, HOOT Cruises
|Agency Promotion of the Year – Australasia
Meridian Travel & The Cruise Gallery VIC – “Rockin’ the Mekong with Elvis”
|Network Promotion of the Year – Australasia
Phil Hoffmann Travel (Australia) – “River Cruise Launch Events with APT”
|Plan a Cruise Month Agency Promotion Award – Australasia
Bon Voyage Cruises & Travel – New Zealand
Brian Johnston, “Sail of the Centuries” (The Age/SMH Traveller, Fairfax)
|Hall of Fame
Carole Smethurst – Bicton Travel
|Contribution to the Cruise Industry (Posthumous Award)
James Patrick – Wiltrans International