(March 4, 2004) - CruCon™ Cruise Outlet, a nine-year-old
Boston-based agency that excels at maintaining strong client relationships
as a key part of its business strategy, has been named
Carnival Cruise Lines' "Agency of the Year" for 2003.
The agency was selected from approximately 25,000 agencies throughout
the U.S. and Canada. Nominees, which are chosen based on feedback
from Carnival's business development managers in the field, must
demonstrate exceptional professionalism, enthusiasm and innovation
in sales and marketing techniques.
"We've always stressed the importance of building and maintaining
strong relationships with our guests and travel agent partners,
and CruCon™ Cruise Outlet epitomizes the concept of personalized
service," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president.
"They value their relationships and go above and beyond to ensure
their clients have an outstanding cruise vacation."
CruCon™ Cruise Outlet President Sandra Cleary added, "We truly enjoy
working with Carnival because they 'get it.' They understand the
travel agency community is an integral part of their distribution
system and know what it takes to succeed in this industry. They
make us feel as if we're part of the Carnival team."
CruCon™ Cruise Outlet also realizes the value of the Internet as
a strong marketing tool, which is another factor behind the agency's
success, according to Cleary. She added that the Internet feeds
consumers to the agency, which allow CruCon™ agents to provide one-on-one
interaction to close the sale. "In this day and age, nothing beats
personalized service and we use the Internet as a complementary
tool to build customer relationships and maintain loyalty," she
"While the Internet is a valuable resource, the key is to combine
a high-tech approach with exemplary customer service."
The agency has been following this technique since 1995 and last
year generated a record $19 million in sales.
The 25-person staff of CruCon™ Cruise Outlet will share a champagne
toast with Carnival executives and then travel via limousine to
the restaurant of their choice. As a permanent reminder of their
achievement, the agency will also receive an exquisite cherry and
maple grandfather clock to display in their offices.