The highlight of each ATME
conference is during its ATLAS Awards Banquet, when the industrys
top marketing leaders are lauded by their colleagues. At the ATME 2000
conference, the evening event was hosted by Discover/Novus Services
at Chicago Swisshotel, where four remarkable individuals were recognized
for their innovative tactics and results-oriented programs.
ATLAS INSPIRATION AWARD
TO ALAMOS MIKE GOING
Mike Going, president of the U.S. Division of Alamo Rent-A-Car Incorporated,
received the Atlas Inspiration Award, which honors industry leaders
whose efforts and programs have involved multiple levels of constituents,
and have provided potential income for diverse businesses and organizations
of any size. The most important thing about Mike is that he inspires
his staff and those of us who work around him. I will probably stay
in this industry because of people like him, and I think a lot of us
feel that way, said Mary Pat Sullivan, publisher of Miller Freeman
Inc., who presented the award. Mike earned his CTC (Certified
Travel Counselor certification in 1997) and then committed his entire
sales team to go through the program so that they would understand what
their clientelethe travel agentsgo through. I think that
shows his inspiration for his team.
Mike Going began his career
with Alamo fifteen years ago as a manager of travel agency marketing.
He was recently promoted to his present position responsible for all
sales, marketing, airport relations, and brand delivery activities for
the Alamo brand. As he worked he way up the corporate ladder, he has
held numerous positions: director of commercial and association marketing,
director of sales-Midwest, senior director of sales-central division,
vice president industry sales & marketing, vice president domestic
sales, and vice president worldwide sales.
Going has served and chaired
on industry association boards for the American Society of Travel Agents
and the National Business Travel Association. He was recently appointed
to the Board of Trustees for the Institute of Certified Travel Agents
where he serves as Chairman of the ICTA Fund.
MARKETER BRUCE WOLFF RECEIVES
TO MARKET AWARD
The ATLAS Award To Market, recognizes innovation in attracting
new customers through a specific channel. Bruce Wolff, senior vice president
of distribution, sales & marketing for the hotel company, Marriott
International, received the ATLAS Award To Market for the
Marriott re-distribution program he and his team initiated.
Wolff led the charge to change the rules and definition of a great partnership
by raising the bar for travel agents by incorporating an education requirement
into Marriotts commission program. The Marriott program, which
was the first of its kind in the travel industry, has proved extremely
successful, with 135,000 graduates since its 1999 inception.
The program was based upon the simple premise that distributors
should be paid in proportion to their contribution to a company. Its
as simple as that, said Terry Lee, Marriotts senior director,
travel industry programs and relations, who accepted the award for Wolff
in absentia. We think it is a disservice to travel agents if everyone
is paid exactly the same, no matter what the extent of their loyalty
or disloyalty, or commitment or indifference. We wanted to change that.
The second premise of the
program was to provide travel agents with tools to do the best job that
they can to be successful and profitable. Our program did cause
a fair amount of controversy, Lee admitted. But after we
explained the program, we came out with very positive results.
VICKI FREED FOR CLIAS
Vicki Freed, senior vice president of Carnival Cruise Lines, who has
been serving as Chair of the Cruise Lines Industry Association (CLIA)
since 1998, received the ATLAS Award for Integrated Marketing for CLIAs
Cruise 2000 campaign. The campaigns industrywide goal is to attract
more people to cruise vacations. Its components comprise three broadcast
tours, conducted throughout the country, in which shipboard staff and
cruise directors went on a variety of TV and radio shows to talk about
cruising as a viable vacation alternative to traditional land base vacations;
a 30-minute television program distributed to cable and other broadcast
television stations; a series of ongoing media briefings with CLIAs
executive staff, including its president and public relations director,
designed to educate the media about the positive aspects of cruise vacations;
four themed media kits; and a variety of partnership programs with the
trade, especially travel agents.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT TO
PHIL BAKES OF FAR & WIDE
The recipient of ATMEs most prestigious honor, the ATLAS Lifetime
Achievement Award, Phil Bakes, president and CEO of the new travel company,
Far & Wide, began his early career as a Watergate Special Prosecutor.
His entry into the travel business began as counsel to the antitrust
subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he helped
to spearhead hearings on airline deregulation and to write the airline
His long list of career highlights
continues as general counsel with the Civil Aeronautics Board during
deregulation of the U.S. aviation industry. In 1980, he joined Texas
Air Corporation, where he helped start up New York Air, and acquire
Continental Airlines. While president of Continental he is credited
with leading the company out of bankruptcy, and ushering in substantial
growththe airlines most profitable period in its 50-year
history. In 1986, he became president and CEO of Eastern Airlines, where
he implemented major restructuring, asset sales, cost reductions, streamline
operations, and revamped the entire marketing program.
During his decade in the
airline industry, Bakes and his colleagues led many notable initiatives,
including a project called Airport of the Future, which was the precursor
to electronic ticketing; simplified peak and off-peak pricing, which
is credited with turning around Continental; and increasing travel agent
market share in System 1 and Amadeus.
In 1990, Bakes founded and
was president of Sojourn Enterprises Inc., a Miami-based advisory and
merchant banking firm. In 1997, he cofounded Travel Industry Acquisition,
the predecessor of Far & Wide Travel.
Far & Wides
goal is to provide a lifetime of enriching travel experiences for individuals,
families, and groups to destinations around the world with an emphasis
on exceptional customer service and destination expertise, remarked
Madigan Pratt, executive vice president with Trinity Communications,
who presented the award. This is being done by a series of acquisitions
that allow Far & Wide to offer a wide range of value-added products
and to address growing consumer needs.
have earned him numerous honors, including being named Tour Operator
of the Year by Travel Agent magazine. We would like to add to that list
of honors by presenting Phil Bakes with the ATME Atlas Award for Lifetime
Achievement, Pratt said.
In accepting the award, Bakes
remarked that this is probably the most challenging time in the travel
industry because of the new breed of traveler and the dramatic changes
in technology. The baby boomer, who is savvy, smart, and demanding,
is changing what we have to do to be successful. It requires a successful
travel company to have tremendous product development and product diversity
to deliver that product through its own style and consistency.
Bakes noted that Baby Boomers
do not want escorted motorcoach tours, which they say is for their parents,
but that they love group travel centered around a common interest, such
as wine, food, art or biking. Just as airlines and cruiselines have
consolidated, Bakes aim with Far & Wide is to consolidate
the packaged tour segment of the travel industry. The U.S. tour
business is estimated to do $23 billion a year in revenue. But theres
2,000 significant tour operators, Bakes pointed out. Consolidation
is only our means to an end, which is to be the leading travel provider
of a lifetime of enriching travel experiences, he said. He also
noted he was a little nervous in receiving this award, based on his
successful career. Success comes from a lot of hard work, good
planning and execution, but also through a lot of good fortune. I know
how fickle good luck can be, he said. We are thankful for
our success and we will continue to stay focused.