Celebrity Cruises has named World Travel Holdings (WTH) its 2008 "National Account Partner of the Year." WTH owns and operates several cruise brands including Fort Lauderdale-based CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. CruiseOne is a leading U.S. franchise operation of more than 550 Franchise Owners specializing in cruise travel. Cruises Inc. is the original host agency with nearly 500 independent contractors selling cruise vacations. With these brands, WTH is the nation's leading retailer of cruise travel.
"Throughout 2008, Celebrity Cruises showed that they are willing to make a continued investment in the travel agent community," said Brad Tolkin, Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of World Travel Holdings. "Celebrity was the first to implement a no rebate policy and was among the first to eliminate fuel surcharges. They are clearly committed to helping travel agents succeed. This level of respect does not go unnoticed by our agents and as we proudly accept this honor, we pledge to continue doing our part in 2009."
The recognition of WTH as Celebrity Cruises' 2008 "National Account Partner of the Year" follows a year of shared milestones for the industry leaders.
In September, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. held the companies' annual National Conference aboard the Celebrity Mercury. Dondra Ritzenthaler, Senior Vice President of Sales for Celebrity and Azamara Cruises, served as the event's keynote speaker. Also during the conference, Celebrity was named "Premium Cruise Line Partner of the Year." That award was voted on by nearly 1,100 CruiseOne Franchise Owners and Cruises Inc. Independent Agents.
In November, WTH, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. exclusively chartered the Celebrity Solstice for a special two-night sailing. The companies' Franchise Owners and Independent Agents had exclusive access to this unique sailing and built widespread national consumer demand for the ship's anticipated debut.
"We are thrilled to recognize World Travel Holdings as our National Account Partner of the Year," said Dondra Ritzenthaler, Senior Vice President of Sales, Celebrity Cruises. "Day in and day out, the WTH team demonstrates nothing but professionalism and a desire to succeed, and it is a pleasure to partner with such a terrific group of people. We look forward to a long and continued partnership with WTH."