More than 500 industry members from across Australia and New Zealand joined Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia in celebrating a massive year of cruising at the 15th Annual Cruise Industry Awards at The Star Event Centre in Sydney on Saturday.
The sell-out gala featured a show-stopping performance by one of Australia’s leading performers, Tina Arena, on a night which saw a total of 19 winners announced across nine categories.
Leading the pack was Western Australia’s Bicton Travel which won the Gold Agency of the Year award for the fifth time.
In accepting the agency’s fifth top gong in six years, Bicton founder Carole Smethurst thanked the agency’s cruise line partners for their “fantastic support” as well as her team of 24 staff.
“It’s an absolute honour to win this, but to win it five times is absolutely incredible,” Smethurst said.
Travelrite International took out the Silver Award with King William Travel winning Bronze.
Clean Cruising received the Online Agency of the Year award, while MTA’s Tracey Flower was recognised as Australia’s Mobile Agent of the Year.
Meanwhile Scenic founder Glen Moroney was welcomed into the CLIA Hall of Fame for his pioneering work in the rapidly growing river cruise sector. Accepting the award on Moroney’s behalf, Scenic general manager of product Aleisha Fittler said Moroney was known for his innovation.
“He is constantly driven to create the next big thing,” Fittler said.
CLIA Australasia chairman Gavin Smith said the 2015 awards dinner had been the best yet, with finalists and winners being recognised from right around Australia and New Zealand.
“Every year cruising in the Australasian region continues to evolve and it’s due to the tireless efforts of many in the industry. These awards are all about celebrating and applauding the hard work, passion and dedication of some of the most important players in the cruise industry – the travel agents who sell our cruises,” Smith said.
The annual cruising night of nights was hosted again by Channel 7 sportscaster and host of AFL Game Day Hamish McLachlan.
And the winners are:
|Cruise Agency of the Year – Australia
Gold: Bicton Travel, Perth WA
Silver: King William Travel SA
Bronze: Travelrite International VIC
|Cruise Agency of the Year – New Zealand
Gold: House of Travel Orewa
Silver: United Travel Bethlehem
Bronze: Bon Voyage Cruises
Online Agency of the Year – Australia
|Online Agency of the Year – New Zealand
Home Based/Mobile Agent of the Year – Australia
Tracey Flower, MTA – Mobile Travel Agent
|Broker of the Year – New Zealand
Denise Fowler, The Travel Brokers
Cruise Consultant of the Year – Australia
Kara Lane, Ecruising
|Cruise Consultant of the Year – New Zealand
Kylie Gutierrez, Cruiseabout Pukekohe
Rising Star Award – Australia
Emma Dunn, Ozcruising
Rising Star Award – New Zealand
Rosie Scates, Cruiseabout Takapuna
Agency Promotion of the Year – Australia
My Travel Expert Nowra, “Girls Day Out – 2015”
|Agency Promotion of the Year – New Zealand
House of Travel “Grabacruise”, “Art Deco Weekend”
|Network Promotion of the Year – Australasia
Phil Hoffmann Travel, “Cruise Expo”
Commended: Cruise Republic “CLIA Cruise Week Sale”
CLIA Hall of Fame
Scenic Founder, Glen Moroney
Sue Wallace, “Vikings Were Here” – The Australian
Check out these images of the night below: