Innovative Virtual Events, Marketing Programs, Training and Resources Created as a Result of COVID-19 are Recognized with Gold and Silver
Wilmington, Mass. (October 19, 2021) – World Travel Holdings along with its Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. brands have been recognized again this year by Travel Weekly. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the company quickly launched creative programs to support its network of agents in a new way.
“I am so proud of how our teams quickly switched gears and didn’t miss a beat in supporting our agents in the most trying time in our industry for them both personally and professionally,” said Debbie Fiorino, senior vice president and chief operation officer for World Travel Holdings. “The top-notch communications and resources, creative virtual events, aspirational marketing, and innovative trainings gave our agents the tools they needed to service their customers during the pandemic. It is a truly an honor to be recognized as the best of the best in the travel industry with these Magellan Awards.”
Take Me Away Virtual Vacation Experience was a rebrand of Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc.’s long-standing signature Virtual Cruise Events because it was necessary to not only offer vacation inspiration, but also ensure the event name was all-encompassing to feature land vacations. As part of the relaunch, travel advisors received a landing page on their websites with unique event registration links giving them real-time insight into who registered and attended so they can follow up with their customers.
Travel Safety Program gives Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. agents resources to generate excitement for cruising and travel, as well as training on travel safety protocols. A Travel Safety Program landing page is highlighted on their individual website’s homepage & promoted in consumer emails. The landing page educates & informs visitors about safe & healthy travel and includes a Travel Safety Guide, Safety at Sea, Air Travel Safety Guide, Resort Travel Safety Guide & videos. Marketing & promotional assets enable our agents to position themselves as the community expert on traveling safely in a COVID-19 world and educate consumers on what health & safety measures to expect when traveling.
Virtual National Conference was created in 2020 for Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. since the annual weeklong event couldn’t be held on a ship when cruising was shut down. This event lasted four days, featured celebrity guests and replicated the onboard experience in terms of content and engagement creating a more personalized experience for attendees. Highlights included general sessions; presentations from the CEOs of nearly every major cruise line; educational workshops; cruise line entertainment; interactive engaging activities such as wine tastings, mixology demonstration and cooking classes; and even a virtual walk/run benefiting Make-A-Wish® which raised more than $50,000.
The Value of a Travel Advisor is more important than ever as a result of the pandemic so even when travel was at a standstill, the Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. marketing team developed campaigns designed to keep travel advisors top-of-mind with their clients yet being mindful of the COVID environment. This included a series of fully-funded direct mail postcards promoting the value of a travel advisor and inspiring customers to dream about (and book) future vacations, which built relationships and trust.
Travel Safety Training Program is a training program that was created to make advisors with World Travel Holdings’ nearly 40 brands the most knowledgeable in the industry when it comes to traveling safely in a COVID-19 world. Through this program, advisors gained confidence and knowledge when advising their customers on this complex topic, and increased credibility with consumers. Upon completion the training, travel advisors become Travel Safety Verified.
COVID-19 Crisis Communications was critical during the pandemic, so the World Travel Holdings Communications Team kept its fingers on the pulse of current events and emailed its very first “Coronavirus News Alert” to employees and advisors January 29, 2020, two months before our industry shut down. Since then, the team sends daily Urgent News Alerts keeping agents and employees informed about cancellations, policy changes, government shutdowns, and more. The complex information is dissected and broken down so that it is easy-to-understand. In addition, the team provides advisors with talking points for speaking to customers and the media.
The Magellan Awards honor outstanding design, marketing, and services in a broad range of industry segments including Hospitality, Travel Destinations, Cruise Lines, Online Travel Services, Airlines and Airports, Travel Agents and Agencies, Tour Operators and Ground Transportation.
“Each year we recognize industry innovators and creative communicators through our Magellan Awards. This year, we recognize the resilience, ingenuity, and path forward created by those who shared their company’s initiatives through words, images and design, and kept travel part of the conversation and part of the equation,” said Arnie Weissmann, editor in chief of Travel Weekly. “We salute all those who entered and all those who won.”
The Magellan Awards are judged and overseen by a one-of-a-kind panel of top travel professionals representing the best names and most accomplished leaders from the industry. In determining winners, entries do not compete with one another, instead they are judged against a standard of excellence based on the long experience of Travel Weekly. To uphold this high standard of excellence, a category may have multiple winners, or no winners at all.
For a complete list of silver and gold winners, please visit www.travelweeklyawards.com.
About World Travel Holdings
World Travel Holdings is the nation’s largest cruise agency and award-winning leisure travel company with a portfolio of more than 40 diverse brands. In addition to owning some of the largest brands distributing cruises, villas, resort vacations, car rentals, resort day passes and luxury travel services, World Travel Holdings has a vast portfolio of private-label partnerships comprised of top leisure travel providers, including almost every U.S. airline, leading hotel brands and prominent corporations. The company also operates a top-rated travel agency franchise and the country’s original host agency and is consistently recognized as an industry leader in work-at-home employment. Its global presence includes operating multiple cruise brands in the United Kingdom. World Travel Holdings has offices in Wilmington, Mass.; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; and Chorley, England. For more information, visit WorldTravelHoldings.com.
About Travel Weekly
Travel Weekly is the most influential provider of news, research, opinion and analysis to the North American travel trade marketplace. It reaches a broad industry audience in print, online and with faceto-face events throughout the year. Travel Weekly is a division of Secaucus, New Jerseybased Northstar Travel Media, the largest travel business-to-business travel publisher in the world.
About Northstar Travel Group
Northstar Travel Group is the leading B-to-B information and marketing solutions company serving all travel industry segments, including leisure/retail, corporate/business travel, corporate and sports meetings, incentives, hospitality, and travel technology. Northstar is the owner of leading brands serving these travel segments. The company produces more than 100 face-to-face events in 13 countries in retail travel, hospitality, corporate travel, travel technology, sports travel, and the meetings & incentive industry. In addition, Northstar owns Phocuswright, the leading research and event producer serving the travel technology industry. Northstar Travel Group owns the BHN Group, the leading producer of hotel investment conferences. Northstar is also the majority shareholder in Inntopia, the leading SaaS e-commerce software business serving the mountain destination, golf, activities, and hospitality markets. Based in Secaucus, NJ, the company has 7 offices in the U.S., U.K., Singapore, and China. Northstar Travel Group is owned by funds managed by EagleTree Capital.