CLIA celebrates achievers amid cruising boom
Last month’s Cruise Industry Awards coincided with one of the most prosperous seasons in Australian cruise history, giving Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia and its members much to celebrate.
The awards were announced at a gala dinner for 500 people at The Star in Sydney, where CLIA Chairman Steve Odell highlighted the growth in cruising since the first awards were held in 2005.
“Thirteen years ago we were on the cusp of a new growth trajectory,” Odell said.
“We knew numbers were going to increase, but I don’t think we had any idea just how much cruise would grow in this time,” he said.
Bicton Travel in WA took top honours for the sixth time, winning the Australian Cruise Agency of the Year Gold award ahead of silver winner Phil Hoffmann Travel of SA and bronze recipient Cruiseabout Kew in Vic.
It became a double celebration for Bicton as owner Carole Smethurst was inducted to the CLIA Hall of Fame, recognising her contribution over two decades.
Odell also paid tribute to Ann Sherry and Gavin Smith who stepped down from the CLIA board last year, and to Brett Jardine who departs this month after 10 years heading the organisation.