PHOTO: Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Vista docked in St. Kitts. (photo by Jason Leppert)

Carnival Cruise Line has bestowed its fourth annual Excellence Awards to 12 travel agencies in the U.S. and Canada per category.

“It’s always difficult to choose just 12 award recipients given the breadth of talent, dedication, and innovation we see from the travel agent community,” said Carnival’s Vice President of Sales & Trade Marketing Adolfo Perez, in a press release. “It’s a true honor to bring these award winners together and to celebrate their success as market leaders.”

Receiving the Ted Arison Founder’s Award this year is Cruise Planners. The award is named after Carnival Cruise Line’s late founder and goes to the agency that showcases partnership, loyalty and support for the brand as well as Ted Arison’s desire for everybody to have a great cruise vacation.

“The dedication, creativity, and unique business model of Cruise Planners make the organization stand out among its peers and its continuous growth and commitment to Carnival made it a natural choice to win this prestigious award,” explained Perez. “We would also like to acknowledge last year’s inaugural winner, World Travel Holdings, for continuing to be an outstanding brand champion and visionary leader.”

Meanwhile, the Chairman’s Award goes to Expedia Inc. This is the first time the award has been given, one that honors an agency that demonstrates business strategy and leadership with Carnival and industry-wide.

“We are proud to honor Expedia Inc. as the first winner of this award,” added Perez. “The group exceeds in technological innovation and multiple successful business models that include online as well as retail franchise excellence.”

In total, the Excellence Award recipients were chosen by Carnival’s sales team according to strength in sales effectiveness, innovative marketing, brand advocacy and a demonstration of leadership in each of their categories.

The remaining winners are as follows:

· Excellence Award – Rising Travel Partner: TRAVELSAVERS

· Excellence Award – Charters: Rose Tours

· Excellence Award – Corporate Incentive: Landry & Kling Global Cruise Events

· Excellence Award – Franchise Agency Network: Dream Vacations, CruiseOne & Cruises Inc.

· Excellence Award – Host Agency Network: KHM Travel Group

· Excellence Award – Online Travel Partner: Vacations To Go

· Excellence Award – Retail: AAA Travel

· Excellence Award – Eastern Region: Tourico Holidays

· Excellence Award – Western Region: Savon Resorts

· Excellence Award – Northern U.S. & Canada: Cruises Etc.

READ MORE: Carnival Cruise Line Calls on Cuba

In another statement, AAA’s senior vice president of Travel and Publishing, Bill Sutherland, said, “AAA is honored to be recognized with Carnival Cruise Line’s 2017 Excellence Award for outstanding travel retail partner. AAA members are the true beneficiaries of our strong partnership with Carnival, thanks to our shared commitment to providing them world-class service and top-notch cruise vacations.”

The winning agencies and their guests will soon attend an “Excellence Awards” celebration in Vail, Colorado August 16-17, 2017 where there will be a welcome party and a gala awards reception complete with dinner and dancing.

For more information, visit the Carnival Cruise Line’s travel agent Internet portal, GoCCL.com.

This post first appeared on TravelPulse.

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