Four travel agents were honoured and presented
with awards as part of the “Creativity in Travel Awards” program designed by the
Caribbean Tourism Organization and presented at CTC-29 in the Bahamas.“We launched the ‘Creativity in Travel Awards’ a year ago to reward retail travel
agents for their innovations in promoting and selling travel to the Caribbean
region,” said Fernando Abreu, CTO’s deputy director of marketing for the Americas.
The award for “Creativity in Bridal and Romance Travel” went to Scott Winsten,
president of International Tours Fifth Avenue Travel, New York, NY, for their
innovative HoneymoonsAndWeddings.com web site. The web site offers a free
personalized video of the honeymoon or wedding and has an interactive session where
two sets of brides and grooms communicate with prospective couples answering
questions, thoughts and ideas.
The honour for “Creativity in Meetings and Group Travel” went to Juanita Daniel of
Premier Destinations, Slidell, LA, for her creative Layaway Plan for prospective
groups. Ms. Daniel gives groups the opportunity to pay for their cruise vacation to
the Caribbean in monthly installments beginning as much as a year in advance. This
is particularly attractive to family reunions and groups who appreciate not having
to come up with the payment for the entire cruise at one time.
The award for “Creativity in Niche and Special Interest Travel” was given to Janie
Owen of Marathon Tours & Travel, Boston, MA. Ms. Owen puts together packages for
people interested in travelling to destinations that host marathons. The package
includes transfers, hotel, meals, sightseeing and the actual event. She notes that
90% of her business is marathons and has been successfully packaging these races in
Bermuda and Jamaica.
A special “Award of Appreciation” was presented to Renee DiGiulio in recognition and
appreciation for her outstanding contribution to charitable causes in the Caribbean
and her dedication to the development of the children of the region.
DiGiulio has been a travel agent for more than 20 years. She has been an active
member of the CTO Chicago Chapter since it was re-launched in 1991. During her
tenure as Chapter President in 2001-2002, the Chicago Chapter was awarded Chapter of
the Year for both of those years.
Her niche is wedding groups to the Caribbean and she holds specialist certificates
from The Travel Institute, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Aruba and Trinidad and Tobago.
She combines her trips to the islands by working for local charities in the various
Caribbean destinations that she visits.
One such project, the Annual Life Skills Residential Youth Camp in St. Kitts, is one
of her favorites. The camp is sponsored by the Naismith International Basketball
Foundation, for which DiGiulio is president, and hosts more than 200 youths.