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Alexandria, VA, September 29, 2013 – The National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) announced their 2013 Supplier Partner Awards on September 21, 2013 during their annual convention at the Westin Beach Resort. The awards were presented by NACTA President Ann van Leeuwen and announced by NACTA Vice President of Sales & Supplier Relations Bob Duglin during the convention’s gala banquet.

“There were 35 total nominees represented across seven categories including hotel, cruise, land, niche, destination, overall supplier of the year and best supplier liaison” said Ann van Leeuwen, NACTA President. “What makes the awards particularly meaningful to the supplier winners is the fact the awards were member voted.”

NACTA’s Hotel Partner of the Year was awarded to Starwood Hotels & Resorts and accepted by Jeff Lanzarotta, Account Director Global Retail Leisure & Luxury Sales. “Starwood Hotels & Resorts has been a proud primary partner of NACTA for many years, and recognizes the importance of the travel professional through such programs as Starwood Pro Learning” mentioned van Leeuwen. Also nominated were ABC Global Services, Club Med, Haiyi Hotels & Exclusively Hotels.

The award for Cruise Line of the Year was awarded to Celebrity Cruises. Other cruise nominees were AMA Waterways, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Cruises and Regent Seven Seas. The 2013 award for NACTA’s Land Based Supplier of the Year was awarded to Classic Vacations. Also nominated were Brendan Vacations, Goway Travel, Meander Travel and Nexus Holidays. For the 2013 NACTA Niche Supplier of the Year Award, the winner was Auto Europe. Also nominated was Alaskan Dream Cruises, American Queen Steamboat Company, ETS Educational Travel Services & On Call International.

NACTA’s Destination of the Year was awarded to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau was accepted by Christine Roberts, Vice President Convention & Group Sales. “The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau is especially deserving of this award due to their active role in training and educating travel consultants on how to successfully sell this beautiful destination” quoted van Leeuwen. Also nominated for the award were the Anchorage Convention Visitors Bureau, the Hawai’i Visitors & Convention Bureau, the Miami CVB, as well as the Space Coast CVB.

Taking top honors this year was the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau who also captured overall Supplier of the Year and Josh Winston; Director of Domestic Sales for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau was named Supplier Liaison of the Year. “Josh’s energy and dedication to promoting Fort Lauderdale from coast-to-coast was proudly recognized by our membership with this award”, quoted NACTA’s VP, Bob Duglin. Also nominated were Cris DeSouza from Celebrity Cruises, Phillip Morris from On Call International, Joe Proto from David Morris Intl/A-Rosa Cruises and Jeff Lanzarotta from Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Additional nominees for Supplier of the year were ABC Global Services, Brendan Vacations, Celebrity Cruises and Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

For more information on NACTA call 877.22.NACTA.

NACTA is the travel industry's leading national trade association representing independent contractors, outside sales agents, cruise and tour oriented agents, group oriented travel professionals and traditional ARC-appointed travel agencies that provide services and support to such professionals. Established in 1986, NACTA's mission is to represent the interest of independent travel entrepreneurs and to promote professionalism and recognition for the professional independent agent. NACTA is an affiliate of ASTA, the American Society of Travel Agents, the world's largest travel trade association.