Travel industry sales reps are perpetually balanced on both sides of the business. They must know every detail about their company, and know exactly what travelers need so that an agent can properly sell that resort/hotel/cruise/tour to their clients. They are a vital, and often underappreciated, part of the industry, keeping both their companies and their agents happy and in business.
This past spring we ran a survey on TravelAgentCentral.com, asking our readers to nominate their picks for the best supplier sales reps in individual sectors of the travel business. Nearly 800 votes were tallied and, after sorting the ballots and crunching the numbers, we're pleased to bring you the results. Join us in congratulating the top supplier sales reps for Ocean Cruising.
Read our reports on the top supplier sales reps for All-Inclusives and Hotels & Resorts. Check back tomorrow to see who the top supplier sales reps are for Airlines. Read the entire report on all of the winners in our September 1 cover story next week.
Business Development Manager
#1 After graduating from Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts with a master’s in counseling psychology, Nicole Castonguay became a sales representative with Sandals/Beaches almost by accident. “I fell in love with travel and sales and, most importantly, developed amazing relationships with my accounts,” she remembers. Two years later, she joined the team at Royal Caribbean in the Rhode Island and Cape Cod region. “My accounts know me as energetic, enthusiastic and always here to support and grow their business,” she says. “My coworkers know me as spontaneous, competitive and fun loving. I love life and feel very grateful for what I am able to call ‘my job.’”
Agents describe her as “professional, courteous and dependable” as well as “a huge asset to RCCL.”
Jean Dorn, CTC, ACC
Business Development Manager, Greater Tampa Bay
#2 As the Business Development Manager with Royal Caribbean for the Greater Tampa Bay Area, Jean Dorn works closely with Travel Partners across the region to create business for their agencies. This might include a cruise event at their office, a training event for the agency team or even working though difficult travel issues.
Dorn has worked with Travel Partners for more than 30 years, but still gets excited when a customer attends an event and chooses to book their cruise with the agency. “I love it when a marketing campaign takes off and the phones start ringing with business,” she says.
Business Development Manager, Metro Boston, New Hampshire & Maine
#3 Darlene Rosborough has been with Royal Caribbean for 19 years. She has been a District Sales Manager and a Key Account Manager in the Northeast region. Before Royal Caribbean, Rosborough was a Cruise Specialist focusing on groups with Crimson Travel in Boston.
At Royal Caribbean, she has been named Rookie of the Year, District Sales Manager of the Year and Key Account Manager of the Year. “I love sharing new itineraries, training on new tools and great sales opportunities,” she says.
Business Development Director, Central Pennsylvania
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES
#4 Roxanne Steele graduated from York Technical Institute with an associate degree in Travel Tourism Management. Her career in the travel industry began with Kingdom Tours where she spent a year as a reservationist before being promoted to Sales Manager. She spent six years in this position, working with travel agents in the greater New England area. In 1996, she joined Carnival Cruise Lines, where she has been covering the Central Pennsylvania area as Business Development Director for the last 12 years. She lives in Lancaster, PA. with her husband Michael, her 18-month old son Tyler and our loyal canine companion Oscar.
Business Development Manager, Rhode Island & Southeastern Massachusetts
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE
#5 Donna Nightingale has been with Norwegian for 17 years as a Business Development Manager, originally covering most of southern New England. In 2003, she was NCL’s Salesperson of the Year. Before joining NCL, she worked for Collette Tours as a District Sales Manager, and also worked onboard the SS Norway. Her love of cruising, she says, grew from her time aboard ship. Today, she lives on Cape Cod with her husband. “I enjoy selling such a great cruise product and working with travel agents who are so nice and are looking to grow their business,” she says. Agents describe her as “an excellent communicator who is always willing to go the extra mile.”